The Canaanite Woman

“Mercy, Master! Son of David, Help me!”
She follows after them, calling in a loud voice.
The crowd notices her right away, of course.
What would he do, this Son of David?
This leader of the followers of the one true God,
what would he do about this loud-mouthed woman
following him, whining for his regard,
like a bitch begging for food for her puppies.

“It’s not right to give the children’s food to the dogs,” Jesus tells her.
She has no standing, no status to expect he would even stop to talk to her,
so she shouldn’t be surprised when he says such a rude, discouraging thing.
She’s a Canaanite dog.
She has no business baying and following at the heels of the anointed one,
He’s busy with The Lord’s Work. She shouldn’t bother him.

But she grovels and she begs.
“Yes, Lord,
but even beggar dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Crumbs indeed. How dare she talk that way to The Lord.
Who does she think she is?

But the Son of David praises this beggar for her faith
“What you seek has been granted,” he says.

Please, Jesus, Son of David, help me.
It’s not my daughter, it’s a tiny, struggling congregation.
They need healing, Jesus. They’re lost and they don’t know what to do.
Please let me lead them.

“You’re not ordained, you can’t serve such a congregation,” the recognized,
authorized disciples of Jesus tell me.
“You would only fail.”
“It’s not right to spend our time and attention on a candidate like you,
when we have more promising folks to mentor.”
“Scat! Go away!”
They expect me to slink off like the beggar bitch they see.

“But even dogs get to eat crumbs from the Master’s table.”
It would fill my life to serve at the Master’s feet.
under His table, repeating His words,
“This is my body, broken for you…”
sharing His crumbs with the other dogs

Virginia Gilbert, August 2008


2 responses to “The Canaanite Woman

  1. Love It. On the Mark exegesis

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