Matthew 15:22-28 NKJV
... A woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed." But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us." But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
I recently read this passage from Matthew. I began to put myself in the story, in the shoes of the Gentile woman who approached Jesus. I realized that I really identified with her. I recalled my childhood struggles with feeling like I didn't fit, that my dear father (staunch Southern Baptist deacon that he was) loved me but didn't quite know what to do with me. The fear I later felt in approaching leadership in the Assemblies of God and trying to express that I thought God was calling me to preach--of all things--and feeling comepletely uhheard and dismissed. (Later, in a different state with different leadership, that changed. Thank you, God!) Anyway, I wrote a poem about it. Not usually a "free verse" kind of poet, but it is what it is. Father's daughter. I'm the daughter of a loving and precious patriarchial man who never once understood or acknowledged that I was called to something he could not accept. (I like to think that, sometimes, he can watch me from Heaven and be pleased.) But I am also the daughter of a Heavenly Father!
She approaches, desperate mother,
Pushing past disciple's frowns,
Gentile! Woman! How unseemly!
Master, make her stop this now.
Words of "dogs" and "children,"
Seem to echo in her heart,
But to reach the man called Jesus,
She will not be turned aside.
* * * * *
A frown--a sigh, shrugged resignation.
Who is this daughter, Lord, you gave?
All these questions! So unseemly!
Help me teach her woman's ways.
Go with the ladies, child,
And learn of graces girls must know,
Learn to speak of softer things.
Go now, and find "a woman's role."
Sit in silence.
Stop your teaching!
Tell your husband,
He is lord.
If your heart is weary,
God will give you grace to stand.
Hide your gifts and learn submission,
Learn the pleasures women plan.
Nodded heads and grave agreement,
Suits and ties each large and strong.
Jesus? Are you here, my Savior?
Do you see me, so alone?
Like the Gentile in the Gospel,
Seeking crumbs from Jesus' hand,
Even I, dear Lord and Master,
May I not approach the throne?
* * * * *
Your faith is sweet to me, my daughter,
Come and learn. Come taste and grow,
Pharisees and Patriarchs,
Will never stop the Spirit's flow!
Earthly fathers cannot see,
What Heaven's hand is forming,
Like your sister in the story,
Your request is granted. Go!
Go, but speak with humble heart,
With hope and peace and mercy,
Speak with joy and speak with sorrow,
Truth in love, my grace to show.