a Canaanite woman…came out shouting… but he did not answer at all… Matthew 15:21-28 After a long night, I awoke to rare early morning barking, but payed no attention. Apparently, my Italian Greyhound needed to go out, but it was 6am! By the time I came down it was clear that indeed his barking was an emergency cry. The mess he created left me frustrated as I had far more important things to do that day than clean up his mess. Today, Jesus focused no his ministry, ignores the cries of a Canaanite woman, and his disciples, for their own reasons, implore him to send her away. To be clear, me ignoring my dog isn’t anything like Christ ignoring the Canaanite woman. My reason for ignoring Orpheus is more like the disciples – selfish and self serving. He was bothering me and interrupting my rest. Although it was the will of God that caused Jesus to keep his focus, in no way could he keep ignoring her. To do so, I believe would support the disciples insensitivity. At the very least Jesus must acknowledge her and make clear his mission. For that, God makes clear his mission. Even the faithful cries of the broken, marginalized and the forgotten are heard by Him and are healed.
“Are you the one to build me a house to live in?” This scripture from 2 Samuel reminds me of the times when I believed myself to be grown enough to tell my own parents what I could do for them. Of course they didn’t need me, but somehow it seemed important for me to let them know that I had in fact “arrived”, even though aside from my education I really had not accomplished very much. I had not saved any money. I did not buy most of my own clothes. I did not own a house or a car nor did I live on my own. Everything I had, the conveniences that I enjoyed up to that point were provided by my parents who I am sure loved me quite dearly, and yet probably thinking I had simply lost my mind, a momentary lapse in understanding graciousness and the reality of my true status and place in life. It was an event that was met with my mother’s usual snide response of “child please!”, and she was quick to remind me that I although had everything, I had earned nothing. So too, as children and inheritors of God’s grace we have everything; and as recipients of God’s mercy we’ve earned nothing. Who are we to say what we can do for God? In times like these it’s always a good thing to heed Paul’s warning in his letter to the Romans, that we ought not think of our selves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:3)! Unfortunately, it was a warning I failed to heed on several occasions.
2 Samuel 7:1-14a Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.”