Hello My Name Is…. (Week 7) – Shunamite Woman
At the start of this week, we were all feeling heartbroken.
Standing in the shoes of this woman after knowing her heartbreak at being barren. After begging Elisha NOT to give her a son and get her hopes up. She now sits and watches her son die on her lap.
What fresh hell is this?
And yet stepping into her shoes this week, all I have felt is peace and calmness – have you?
This was the verse we were meditating on, and that I will explain more below:
“After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.” 2 Kings 4:20-21
A MOTHER FIRST AND FOREMOST
During the Facebook live on Monday we chatted about what we would be doing as mothers if our child arrived home poorly. With this woman living on a farm, perhaps away from others, and medical professionals not as readily available as now, she did the best thing she knew how – comforted her child. She sat him down on her lap and held him until he died. She was there with him. Soothing the pain he felt. Even if it was killing her that this miracle boy was withering right in front of her eyes. Maybe she prayed over him and with him, maybe she was rocking him and stroking his back, maybe she was singing a lullaby from when he was a baby. All these things we naturally do when our children are hurting, and this woman was no exception. She did not let the myriad of emotions that would be flying around her head get in the way of being there for him when he needed her. Isn’t that what we do as mums?
We put aside whatever we are doing to be there for our kids. Yes, we still have our own work, our own dreams and our own plans – they don’t go away – but sometimes they are disrupted because we do run and jump for our children when they need us. We are their world and we are their mothers, first and foremost. I am so glad that this woman didn’t tell her son to go away or leave him on his own, but has given us this great example of being there when he needed her.
A PLAN IN ACTION
Now, the second thing we noticed was how odd it was that she went and placed him on Elisha’s bed in his special room, rather than on the boy’s bed, when he died. It is clear that this was something she was thinking about whilst cuddling him on her lap, and that as soon as the time came she put the start of a plan into action. There must have been a reason to put him there, as otherwise why would you risk making the bed of a “holy man” unclean by putting a dead body on it? As I stepped into her shoes, I felt this peace and calmness, as if she had been praying over him all that time and God had told her to do it. God had a plan and this woman is following it through.
GRIEF DIDN’T COME INTO IT
In stark contrast to our own feelings of heartbreak at this woman’s misfortunes, she doesn’t seem that bothered. She doesn’t stop next to the bed and grieve over her dead son. It doesn’t mention sack cloth or ashes or mourning. I actually don’t think this woman accepts that he is dead (she knows he is, but she is not grieving because she doesn’t believe that is how he is going to stay.). Grief comes when we know someone isn’t coming back, and this lady is not going to take that as the answer. Her little boy was given to her as a miracle, as she is going to make sure he doesn’t leave her for good.
I think this is a really fascinating story, and next week we follow what the Shunamite Woman does next after her son dies by looking at this verse:
“She called her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return.” “Why go to him today?” he asked. “It’s not the New Moon or the Sabbath.” “That’s all right,” she said.” 2 Kings 4:22-23
Why not update your verse of the week board now, or write it on some post its to place around the house so that you can start to learn the verse for this week. I will be over in the Facebook group at 9pm tomorrow night discussing our first thoughts about this verse, so do join me then. Happy Sunday!!!