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Sharpshooter Calamity Jane

by PamFord Davis  
6/03/2011 / Devotionals

The Wild West boasts of many sharpshooters, among them I recognize Martha Jane Cannary Burke, nicknamed "Calamity Jane." She was a legend in her own time and like many of notoriety; it is hard to separate fact from fiction. There are even questioned accounts as to the origin of the name Calamity; it does fit. In her early years, the family moved from Missouri, out to the Western Frontier. Her mother died along the way, with her father passing soon after; the calamity loss of both parents gave her the responsibilities of family leader at the age of 15.

We remember her best for working as a military scout during the wars with Native American Indians, and later as a horse rider and trick-shooter with "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show." Tales of pioneers, settlers, cowboys and Indians were once big business in dime novels, movie matinees and on television. In stories dominated by male heroes, Calamity Jane shared popularity with Annie Oakley. The final calamity shared by all is death; Martha Jane Cannary Burke rests in a South Dakota cemetery, next to famed acquaintance, Wild Bill Hickok.

At times, I believe we all feel like the name Calamity suits us too. God reminds us of his grace. "but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NRS)." The tried Apostle knew the secret of contentment; I nickname him "Victory Paul!"

Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal, With God Daily, Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter.

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