Something I have really wrestled with most of my life is trust, faith, not becoming resigned, cynical, sarcastic. Our brain tends to pick up on patterns, so you see the same thing happen over and over again, and reason and logic suggest that’s just the way it is, that’s just how things are. This is just what is going to happen every single time. Forever and ever.
I am often surrounded by a lot of despair and then I have my own to deal with, and hope, promise can be painful things, they can lead to disappointment, broken dreams, feeling foolish. It is not so easy to cultivate the kind of faith that can just look at a crap sandwich and go, Amen! My Father did say, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Today I am thinking of the woman of the crumbs, the woman in Matthew 15 who says, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” I am often a woman left hanging onto crumbs, staring at what amounts to a crap sandwich, so she has always appealed to me as a fellow soul.
There are some real treasures to be unwrapped in that tale. First Jesus ignores her, then He casts her out, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then He turns her down, then He insults her. “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Yes, our Lord and Savior! He does those things. He is clearly toying with her. Toying with a desperate woman whose daughter is sick.
This is where trust comes into play. We know the nature of Jesus Christ, we know He is never needlessly cruel, never pointlessly mean. So His words serve a purpose in the passage, and that purpose is good, because His purpose is always good. We are being told this tale for a reason, all through the ages.
The woman of the crumbs is benefiting from this encounter, gaining priceless treasures along the way and we would do well to learn from her. First she takes a risk as a Canaanite woman by approaching the Son of David in the first place, then she perseveres through the crowds, and past the disciples trying to push her out. Once she encounters the Lord, she refuses to take offense. She sets aside her pride, she submits, and places her eyes, her faith, on the outcome rather than on the circumstances and the exchange that is before her.
“Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Risk, great faith, perseverance, surrender, and trust. Those are the gems she gains from this encounter, above and beyond the end result which is, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.