Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 4th August 2021
But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15. 25-28
The Canaanite woman whom Jesus encountered on his visit to the district of Tyre and Sidon was a woman full of love. She had such love for her daughter that she was prepared to give anything for her to be made well. She was willing to sacrifice not only financial wealth but also, if necessary, all her pride and self-esteem. Her own status was of no value to her if it meant that her daughter would continue to suffer.
So, in her desperation and determination to help her daughter, this woman, was content to compare herself to a dog if it would help her cause. This in an era when dogs were probably not treated in quite the same sentimental way as we do now. Enemies were referred to as dogs, wild dogs roamed the outskirts hunting for food and even household dogs appear to have had to wait for leftover scraps.
From our own experience of love, be it parenthood, grandparenthood or through other close relationships we know just how much we are prepared to give or relinquish in order to end the suffering of those we love. We have all felt those acute pains when we cannot seem to find a way to help or relieve the pain of those whom we watch over. Maybe the challenge for us contained in the words of this Canaanite woman is how widespread we are prepared to let that sense of love and concern become.
Are we able to feel the same imperative of giving up or relinquishing all, not only for our immediate families but for those families in our immediate communities, or these families in the wider world who are equally suffering? Does the example of love that we receive from our loving Lord impress upon us such a love for others that we can feel a strong sense of sacrifice to forgo our personal sense of self-esteem and privilege to help our wider universal human family. Having faith that our commitment to unconditional love for others will eventually bring about healing when we lift their needs to Jesus, through our prayers and our actions.
With all my love and prayers