Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The General and the servant girl

I was reading the other day in 2 Kings 5. It is the most interesting story of a general named Naaman who was afflicted with leprosy. Eventually he goes to the prophet, Elisha, who by his own servant tells the general to immerse himself in the Jordan river and he will be cured.

Naaman really does not like this idea nor does he like talking to Elisha's servant instead of Elisha directly. So initially he stomps off refusing to do it. Well, his underlings persuade him to change his mind by telling him that he would do something complicated if he had been instructed to do so; therefore, why not do something simple.

I'm paraphrasing of course.

Naaman goes and dunks himself in the Jordan seven times and he is healed.

There's more, too.

Much later -- hundreds of years -- this story becomes very important in the life of Jesus, the Messiah. So it is an important story.

What really interests me is why Naaman wants to go to Elisha in the first place. That's because his wife has told him what her servant girl said. The servant girl is from Israel and was captured by Naaman's King on a previous raid.

Her name is not mentioned in the account. And she doesn't tell Naaman directly but only his wife, her mistress.

The story obviously is not about the servant girl but somehow I have become fixated on her. I keep thinking about her.

For one thing she must have been an exceptional woman because Naaman immediately took the advice upon hearing it. I wouldn't take advice from someone I didn't have a lot of respect for.

I wonder how she felt about being captured and removed from her home and family and life? I wonder if she was resentful or angry or depressed or all the emotions I can imagine myself feeling.

I wonder why she cared so much for Naaman? I wonder if it was because of his wife or the man himself or was it just something in the heart of this unnamed, young girl?

I wonder if she knew the Lord? And if she did I wonder if she felt herself called into His service? Was she at peace because she felt that calling even though she was a enslaved in a strange land?

I wonder if she was rewarded by the general when he returned home? I wonder how she felt when she found out he had been healed?

I wonder if she had any idea that her remark would play such an important part in world history? It was not a very significant statement really.

Makes me wonder about my own statements and my own life.

1 comment:

Lori1955 said...

I guess it is a good lesson about how doing one simple thing can have such a huge impact. I think too though that we should all remember this in whatever we do, good or bad. We never know what kind of snowball effect it will have.