Mark 7:25-28 – In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. "First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." (NIV)
When my boys were growing up, we lived in the country. They had to depend on my transporting them to places of entertainment. They knew also that I had lots of responsibilities at home that came before taking them swimming, or wherever they wanted to go.
Early in the day, they would ask me to take them somewhere. My reply was always "maybe" — when all the chores are done, if I have time, we'll go. They learned early that the chores could be done much more quickly if they helped. They would get busy, and do all they could to help get the work done. Then, when the chores were done, the house was neat, lunch was over, and the dishes were washed, they would say, "We can go swimming now. All the chores are done." There might be many more things I wanted to do, but who can resist their type of wisdom? Naturally, I let other things wait, and took the boys swimming, or wherever they wanted to go.
The woman in today's Scripture could have been offended when Jesus spoke as he did, but she chose to speak boldly to him. Jesus respected her boldness and clear thinking, and healed her child. Sometimes we knock too gently at the doors of life, whether in prayer, work, study, or social action. Then we read the answers wrong. Do we, like the Syrophoenician woman, need to speak up more boldly in expressing our faith?
Prayer: Lord, you have told us to ask, and we shall receive. Make us bold in our asking, and alert and attentive to the answers we receive. Amen.