Summerfest joyfully invades Scargill during August which is our 3 week all age fun-packed arts festival where about 100 guests join the community. Along with the rest of the Community, I love it!
Every year we have a different theme from the Bible and this year we have been looking at the story of Naaman the Aramean General seeking healing for his leprosy. It is a great story – why not check it out in 2 Kings 5.
It is a story full of surprises and unknown heroes, with kings, prophets and servants and it is one of these servants I want to focus on. The story tells of a servant girl captured by an Aramean raiding party. We don’t know her name, or where she came from, but we can only imagine the heartache and trauma she must have felt being literally trafficked from her family to a foreign country and culture into servitude. Yet she does not allow herself to be defined by this part of her history and is gracefully able to offer words of hope into the household she is now serving which just happened to be Naaman’s. She knew from her own country that there was a prophet who would be able to help Naaman in his desperate need. I am not sure that I would be able to offer such words of hope if I had been held captive. I reckon I would be full of resentment. Sheridan Voysey, a recent speaker at Scargill, commented ‘the greatest tragedy is not the broken dream but being forever defined by one.’ This gracious attitude was within this slave girl and she truly is the unsung hero in this story of restoration.
What is also remarkable about this story is that Naaman listened. Perhaps there was something in this slave girl that made people listen – people who are grace filled are attractive. St Paul says ‘be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’ Colossians 4:5-6. Perhaps this grace filled attitude lived within this young slave girl.
Being channels of grace will at times be costly and may go against our better judgement and yet Jesus would call us to be people of grace in our words and actions. The little slave girl ,who had a conversation with Naaman’s wife, led to restoration in Naaman’s life beyond his wildest dreams.
Martin Luther King said that anybody can be great because anybody can serve. He goes on to say, “You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”