Have you ever been challenged with something that just seems way too easy?  To achieve things in life they need to take a bit of work, if it’s too easy you really haven’t achieved much

Today’s story tells of the healing of the commander Naaman. Although he was a man of status and power, he was also a man who was suffering from leprosy, pretty impressive.

I wonder if this impressive great man also had a soft spot. We hear from our reading today that a young captured girl was Naaman’s wife’s servant.  She had seen that Naaman was suffering from this disease and gathered up her courage to suggest a person who could cure him.  For a young female servant to have the space to give her suggestion and then be listened to would not have been the norm.  There is some bravery here on both parts, from the young girl for speaking up and from Naaman to actually listen.

And so Naaman travelled to her homeland in search of the prophet who might cure him. He travelled in style, as befits an army commander of his stature. There were horses, there were chariots. There was also expectation. And there was a letter. A letter from the king of Naaman’s land to the king of Israel. This was high-level stuff: king to king. No ordinary man was being sent for healing. No ordinary cure would be expected. The king of Israel was non-plussed by the request. But Elisha rode to the rescue. Or, rather, he didn’t.

Elisha may have been a prophet and Naaman a commander but the cure was done at arms length by Elisha and through the ordinary river Jordan for Naaman.  The high-level stuff was cast aside and the ordinary took its place.

Today we stop and remember those we’ve lost over the last 12 months.  They are the ordinary, our friends and relatives, not people of great social recognition usually, but very important to us and their families. Just like the young slave girl in this story, they cared for those around them, and we’re really fortunately that we are amongst that group of people.

It is not just the famous who make things happen, who affect change and share compassion.  It is also the saints who cared for us, passed on their faith and were important family members.  Important players in the story of God’s people today.

Jay Robinson

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