Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Image: La Vista Church of Christ, "Servant Girl Tells Naaman's Wife About the Prophet".

Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man...but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
2 Kings 5:1-3

An unnamed young Israelite woman, a war trophy, a slave, is here the unsung hero of the story of how Elisha cured Naaman's leprosy and turned him away from paganism and towards God. The story is a powerful one, riddled with metaphor and meaning, with overtures of John the Baptist's mission and Jesus's later work in curing lepers. The metaphor of a leper in all cases seems to describe for us how someone's outsides do not necessarily match their insides, and the healing process aligns the two aspects. We are all out of alignment with self in some way, and in need of healing. As always, this story is about ourselves.

The little maid (in later translations more respectfully termed as 'young woman') is described by David Guzik as "an unwilling missionary".1 Likely raised in the faith, and aware of the politics of the time, the young woman was aware of Elisha and his record of prophecy and healing. In her tragic circumstance she is still able to become God's voice, carrying the message of love and redemption. That she speaks up at all tells us much of her character, and her dignity. Although unnamed she is not anonymous. She is established as an important, leading character in this story, and in the greater story in which this one is nested.

The word of God spreads in unusual ways, and perhaps we all have our opportunity to be a missionary for the Word. What is special about this particular missionary is she does not preach, does not attempt to convert, only offers love and hope, and is trusted apparently because of how she holds herself, how she lives. Our missionary points Naaman in the right direction and leaves the rest up to him and his companions. We learn that we do not have to proselytise to carry the word of God, rather we must be the Word. The principle of attraction is generally more effective than that of promotion.

1 Naaman the Leper, David Guzik, Enduring Word, 2018