Making the Best of the Worst
Pentecost 25 – Proper 27
There are some stories in Scripture that really make me shake my head and think, “That is just not believable.” It’s not the miracle stories, like Naaman’s healing, that are hard for me. I’ve gotten old enough and seen enough that, for me, each day is stuffed with amazing reminders and revelations of how God is actively creating, redeeming, and sustaining life every moment of every day on this spinning blue marble floating silently in space. The part of the story I find hard to swallow is about the young girl.
Consider: one day, she’s living life in Israel with her mother and her father. Armed soldiers suddenly sweep into her village, terrorizing them, wreaking God knows what devastation. Soldiers grab her and drag her off. She goes from normal life into slavery. Now, that part is easy enough to believe; it’s still happening today. What’s incredible is how this young girl then makes the best of the worst and chooses – CHOOSES – to help the very general who ordered the raid. Where is her sense of anger and revenge and hatred for her captor? Evidently, she chooses not to live in that frame of mind. Instead, she makes a naïve, almost irresponsible promise: If the general will just go see the prophet in Samaria – Elisha – the general would be healed. Her suggesting Naaman go back into Israel is pretty close to treason!
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