rainbow-world

Loss of Dignity (Humility) – White

Posted on: September 25, 2010

I chose this photograph because the scene, I feel, has a freshness, and also a reassuring solidity, about it. A creamy rose strong and sturdy at its centre, surrounded by fresh leaves in a summer garden. The sun is not shining in full strength, although there is enough light to give the scene a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere.

This seems apt for my theme this post, since renewal and new life are at the heart of the biblical story of Naaman.

In the Old Testament, we read about a man suffering from leprosy, Naaman, a captain in the Syrian army. He was healed – but it took a blow to his pride to bring about his healing.

In Naaman’s household, serving his wife was a young Israelite girl, a “little maid” captured by the Syrian army. Feeling sorry for Naaman, she suggested he visit “the prophet that is in Samaria”, who would be able to bring him healing. The King of Syria became involved, and through a letter to the King of Israel, Naaman ended up at the prophet Elisha’s front door.

Naaman was told to bathe seven times in the Jordan. This he found greatly frustrating. He was, after all, a man of valour with a string of military successes behind him. He was obviously the “doing” type, and perhaps was rather nationalistic to boot. He reacted by questioning Elisha’s instructions. “If bathing in a river is what it takes to heal me, then there are two perfectly good rivers in my own country” is his retort in a nutshell. Not only that, but he didn’t get (until he asked for it, in a rage!) any face-to-face contact with the great man he had come so far to see.

Thankfully, Naaman’s servants were wiser than he was. Thank goodness for servants who were prepared to speak out, is all I can say! The little Israelite maid although extremely young, no doubt, thought outside the realm of her duties, not only noticing Naaman’s situation but coming to her mistress with the solution. Now it was Naaman’s servants’ turn. They asked him, if Elisha had asked you to do something big (“some great thing”), wouldn’t he have done it? Instead of refusing to do this simple thing – “Wash, and be clean” – he should be even more eager to carry out such a straightforward and easy instruction. Naaman heeded their advice, bathed in the Jordan, and was healed and thoroughly converted to the worship of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

After Naaman is healed, he is described in this way: “his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean”.

Naaman puts aside all dignity based on his own self-worth, and enters into humility. His flesh becomes like a child’s and he must surely have emerged with a childlike mind and heart, as well. (I feel that the rose, above, conveys that sense of simplicity – not the most elegant, dramatic or eye-catching flower, yet it has something of a child’s trusting quality of openness about it.)

Children have been referred to in both these posts about dignity. Perhaps dignity is something we shouldn’t really seek for ourselves. But true dignity does come to us, once we’re firmly rooted in the love of the Creator God Himself. King of Israel, King of the present world, and King and Creator of a new heaven and new earth yet to be revealed!

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  • None
  • Carole: Beautiful!
  • Amy: Sounds like a beautiful color and dress. And I would love to see a picture of that tree! I do love trees of all kinds, and you make some great points
  • Amy: What a beautiful poem or song to God, love it! We're exciting to see spring here up in the northeast after a long, cold, snowy winter! Blessings, A

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