Monday, October 7, 2013
In Her Sandals
Let’s just get this out of the way. I know you stand there judging me for what I do, for what I am, but you know what? It pays the bills, and I didn’t have a lot of other opportunities here. Yes, I am a prostitute, a hooker, a whore. Of course, when you say those labels it’s in hushed tones, and you do that goofy thing with your eyes. You think you are whispering it to your friend, but I can hear you. I can feel your eyes glaring a hole into me except when I turn to look at you, you won’t look me in the face. You think you know so much about me, but you don’t know me at all. And truth be known, I probably know more about you, your home life and your man than you do. I’m sorry for being so frank and brash, but without even knowing me or my story, people judge.
What you may not know is I have my own home. Some may even call it an inn. And part of my house is actually built inside the city wall fairly close to the city gate. If I see someone in need, if I think they’ll accept my help, I extent my hand to help. I am a problem solver and a quick thinker, and I’m wiser than you give me credit for. Never underestimate me. I take care of my own. Not every person who enters my home is entertained as a paying guest. Not every paying guest gives gifts. There are some who are not allowed in my home. I have standards. Like I said, I’m a smart business woman.
Right now, people around town are in a panic. Word on the street is that we are going to be attacked in the near future. I’ve been trying to buy up as much dry goods and things I’d need to survive the attack. I hate battles. They’re gruesome and trying to find things to eat during and afterwards is almost impossible. So I stock up on as much as I can. Whatever gold or fine jewelry I have, I hide or sew into the clothes I’ll be wearing. I try to keep my family close. There’s a lot of uncertainty. People are anxious and with good reason.
I listen to the people who enter my home, hear about what they’ve experienced or heard. There is one story though that went down in history. I opened my home to two non-paying customers. Did you catch that? Non-paying. I was glad to. I could see they weren’t from around here. My guess, which proved to be correct, was that these men were spies. Now, I’m used to getting knocks on my door by all manner of people – military, law enforcement, wives, spiritual leaders, and I’ve lied to them all at some point in time to cover the paying client. I sent people on more goose chases than I care to count. People are so gullible.
I was not surprised in the least that people came looking for the two spies. That’s why I hid them as soon as they got there. I took them to the roof where we were drying flax, and there we hid them beneath a pile of flax. I have more than one job. I have to in order to provide for my parents and siblings. I know it couldn’t have been the most comfortable place, but they were not found. And that was the point. I got them situated when the knock on the door came. After telling everyone to act natural, I put on my best face, while I confidently answered the door. My heart was pounding. I knew they could haul me in for treason and for harboring spies. Both of these charges would cost me my life. After I listened to their proclamation from the king, I explained that the men had been there but that I had sent them packing because I didn’t know them. I gave them as innocent of a look as I could give. I told the soldiers that the men had sneaked out the gate. I was so relieved when they left. I closed the door and bolted it shut for the night. Once the men seeking the spies had left the city to follow the lead I had provided, I went up to the roof to talk to the spies. I have to tell you, there is something very exciting about spies.
I told the men I knew that their Lord, their Yahweh had given them this land. Otherwise, people in the city would not be in such a panic. I really had never seen it at this level before. I had heard the stories about these people walking on dry land through the Red Sea and about how they destroyed other kings. I knew these things by listening to the men who came into my home and from people in the market place. Some people were skeptical about the walking through the Red Sea on dry land, but I wasn’t. How amazing would that have been! I wonder if that’s how God is going to get this group of people across the Jordan. I mean if He did it once, He can do it again, right?
I wanted to make sure that my family would be preserved and safe when the time came to conquer my city. So I asked them to swear to me by their God that they would spare our lives. “A life for a life.” I promised to keep their secret, their mission under wraps and to preserve their lives, and they would save my family’s lives. I couldn’t ask for more.