This is a short story about a little girl. A girl without a name. A Jewish slave girl, taken captive by the Syrians 1000’s of years ago. But first, let me tell you about another little girl, one who few have heard of yet recently saved so many.
In 2004, 10-year-old Tilly Smith was vacationing on a beach in Phuket, Thailand. At some point during the beautiful, sunny day the sea began bubbling “like on the top of beer.” As others watched out of curiosity, Tilly remembered her recent lesson on tsunamis in her geography class. An early warning sign? That the water would froth and suddenly recede.
Tilly pleaded with her family to escape the beach. Her father took her warning seriously and went back to the hotel to bring it to the attention of the staff. Her mom, however didn’t believe her. Out of fright and frustration she announced,
“Right, mum, I’m going. I’m definitely going. There is definitely going to be a tsunami.”
Tilly’s father, impressed by his daughter’s conviction, alerted an on-duty security guard, and the authorities quickly evacuated the beach. The Smith family and all the beach goers sought refuge at their hotel, just minutes before the tsunami hit.
Throughout that day, tsunamis in Southeast Asia killed nearly 230,000 people. But Tilly’s persistence saved the lives of every person on that beach.
She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:3
This was the pleading voice of the little Jewish girl. Her new beginning began in a strange land as a slave. Taken captive by King Aram, living in the house of Naaman, commander of the army. Naaman, although an impressive warrior and highly regarded by the king, was stricken with leprosy. And this little girl, far from home, was urged to tell her mistress about the healing powers of the prophet Elisha, the man of God.
Without fear, without thought of not being believed because of her youthfulness or gender or race or faith, this no named child saved a man both physically and spiritually. She doesn’t appear to harbor malice toward her captor. She shows the love and mercy of God.
As for Naaman, he was urged to take this little child’s advice and travel to a far off land in search for a cure. With the prophet Elisha’s help, Naaman became a follower of the one true God. He too took this gift and quietly weaved it into his surroundings, eventually converting the royal household.
“And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4:27
When Jesus spoke these words in the Nazareth synagogue he was thrown out. How dare he speak of saving gentiles! How dare he encourage the saving of their enemies – ones who had taken them as slaves? Yes, how dare He? How dare Tilly think she knew something that could save so many? How dare this Jewish slave girl share her God’s love for everyone?
I can only imagine how grateful Naaman must have been toward this little slave girl. I can only imagine because she’s never mentioned again. Her new beginning, as her master’s first guide in his steps toward salvation, had to have brought that household so much joy. Just like Tilly will always know how much of a difference one person can make.
How dare we all direct just one person toward the loving grace of our Savior? Who are we to give others the gift of a new beginning? To have our own beginning as a servant of Christ? How dare I, a person of lowly origins, share in the hope and salvation of someone? How dare you?