“If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
Verse 3 (NIV)
Kindness and compassion sometimes appear in the most unlikely places or unlikely people. One of our special needs people suffers from fairly regular occasions of discomfort and pain that cause him lots of distress. From time to time when I check on him, I will ask him how he is feeling. Each time he struggles to get in a position that he can look at me and says: “Louis, I am happy.” Talk about melting your heart. I am trying to show compassion and he is telling me that he is not just “OK”, but he is happy.
If anyone had an excuse not to be used by God, the servant girl of Naaman did. She had been captured by the enemy. She had been taken from her family, her people, and her land. She was a stranger and a foreigner, and now she was a slave in the household of Naaman.
If anyone had an excuse not to be compassionate or kind, this servant girl did. Many people in her circumstances might have taken great joy at the suffering of their master. Naaman was afflicted with leprosy, a deforming disease that separated people from their community and eventually caused great suffering and death. And yet. this slave girl was moved to be a servant of the living God. When suffering entered into her household, she wanted to see that suffering relieved and her master healed.
In our passage, the phrase “If only …” is the phrase that turns the story from one of hopelessness to a great God story. When we read this story carefully, we see that it is a story of compassion and hope. This unnamed servant girl’s careful cry to her master’s wife starts Naaman on a journey that will eventually lead him to Elisha and an encounter with the living God. An unnamed servant girl has a heart of compassion and kindness,that leads to a life that is changed by the power and heart of God.
God of healing and hope, there is so much suffering in our world, in our neighborhoods, and perhaps even in our families. Lord make us instruments of your compassion, healing, and hope. Amen.