Ignore the Little Girl at Your Peril
EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Prayer of the Day: Almighty and most merciful God, your bountiful goodness fills all creation. Keep us safe from all that may hurt us, that, whole and well in body and spirit, we may with grateful hearts accomplish all that you would have us do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Once upon a time, a little girl spoke and her words ignited an international furor and nudged the world just a little closer to a better tomorrow. I am not speaking of Greta Thunberg pictured above, but the anonymous slave girl featured in our lesson from the Second Book of Kings. This little Israelite girl was kidnapped during one of the many skirmishes between Israel and its arch nemesis, Aram. She ultimately wound up in the house of Naaman, a powerful and distinguished general where she served Naaman’s wife. Naaman had obviously distinguished himself as a mighty warrior. Nevertheless, beneath their supreme military rank, weapons of war, body armor and medals of valor, mighty warriors have the same vulnerabilities as the rest of us mortals. Even men who defeat armies and conquer kingdoms fall like the rest of us before viruses and bacteria. So it was with Naaman who, the Bible tells us, suffered from leprosy. This great warrior, once the star of military parades, seemed fated now to suffer a pitiable death on his sick bed.
But then the little slave girl spoke up. Read more