Two things. All these stories, and I want to focus on two things. The Shunamite woman saying “everything is fine” and Naaman’s servant saying “really, dude?”
The Shunamite woman has her son die in her arms. Excuse me while my heart breaks and I spend about an hour crying over this. She never even asked for him. She had accepted the fact that she would never have children. The boy was an unsought blessing, a reward for her unsought generosity. And she held him while he died. My chest closes up at the thought of that.
But when her husband asks here why she needs to go see the prophet in such a hurry, remember he knew the boy wasn’t feeling well, she says everything is fine. When Elisha’s servant asks what she needs, she says everything is fine. She only tells Elisha what the problem is.
Now, I can absolutely understand this. Her heart has stopped. She isn’t breathing anymore. There are no thoughts in her head except “Find Elisha and fix this.” Everything is fine. It has to be. I can’t stop to explain what is happening because I will absolutely fall apart and then nothing will be fine ever again. I just have to keep it together until I can get to Elisha, and then everything will be fine. It’s faith, but it’s faith mixed with fear, mixed with grief, mixed with a little bit of denial just to keep moving. BUT SHE KEEPS MOVING. And then she gets to hold her boy as he comes back to life, to heal a little bit of the trauma from his passing.
I just… this whole story. Elisha’s response to what she says is just as heartbreaking. “God didn’t tell me.” He’s heartbroken, too. I mean, this woman built a room on top of her house just for him. This woman is special to him. You have to believe he loves her like a mother, at the very least like an aunt. She feeds him, wants him to be comfortable. Maybe she even poured a little of the motherly affection she’d never gotten to experience into him before she was blessed with a son of her own.
It’s all just so real. I love her.
And Naaman’s servant. I love every sermon I’ve ever heard preached about him. “Come on, man! Are you really going to stay sick just because, what? Because the miracle isn’t miraculous enough for you? Do you hear yourself? And what’s the worst that could happen anyway? You get a little wet in an ugly river. Dude, just go do it already!”
I know, he was a servant, so he had to be all diplomatic about it, but you know this is what he was thinking. And the sermons all make the very good point: what are we rejecting because it isn’t flashy enough? It’s a good lesson to learn.