One will wonder what a rich woman has got to do with a man who was just a regular passer-by on the street of a city.
He neither solicited anybody 's help nor murmur about his strenuous journeys from city to city; doing what he has been called to do.
The man looked straight, walking briskly to reach his destinations timely and safely.
He was bald on his head, wearing a well trimmed mouthstach and beard.
This man used to pass by when his clothes were drenched in sweat and feet gripped by dust; holding a skin bag containing his personal effects.
Always, he went everywhere with his servant.
One day, a woman, intercepted him with "Good afternoon sir."
"Good afternoon, madam." he responded, standing still for a brief moment and was about to continue his journey when another sentence came: "Sir, can you, please, give me audience for a few minutes?" she requested, bowing humbly before him.
The man was astonished because she was of good countenance with opulence widely written all over her. Her voice depicted authority. Her walk signified influence.
"What can her need be?" he asked himself, looking at her steadfastly.
"Speak on," he asserted struggling to wipe drops of sweat streaming down his face.
"I want you to come to my house that you may wash your feet before you continue your journey." she submitted, pointing to her house nearby.
"Thanks so much. I'll not be able to because I want to arrive at my destination on time." he replied getting set to go.
However, after a serious pleading, he yielded and went with her.
As the man was washing, the woman thought of adding a decent meal to her hospitality.
The man and his servant ate and were satisfied before they continue their journey.
This became a routine as requested by their hostess.
After sometime, the rich woman was not pleased with her scope of kindness. She ruminated, "What else can I do for this man?"
Suddenly, a thought sprang within her, "You can host him!"
She immediately went to her husband, saying, "My dear, this is an holy man of God who passes by us regularly. Please, let's make a room for him so that he can rest before embarking on his journey again."
"Am with you but have you discussed it with him; and has he agreed?" her husband probed rubbing his hand together.
"No! I must seek your approval before informing him. Hopefully, he'll agree if I plead with him because it is for his comfort."
They provided a well furnished room for him. The next visit saw the man of God spending a night there.
From that time, the rich woman continued to expand her scope of kindness to the man of God and his servant until he became restless because nothing has been done in return.
One day when he was going through that city, Shunem, the man lodged in as usual. After a breakfast, he walked up and down not knowing what to say or do.
"Gehazi! Call the woman for me." he ordered, scratching his head with his left hand.
"Yes sir!" he answered and dashed out in obedience.
She came along with Gehazi.
"Madam, you've greatly cared for us, what do you want us to do for you? Can I speak of you before the king or the head of the armed forces?"
"I've no problem sir. I live among my people." she replied with joy and contentment boldly written on her face.
She departed to her apartment.
Elisha, the man of God, remained confused; he wanted to reciprocate the ever increasing kindness.
"Excuse me sir, she has no child!" Gehazi announced gleefully, spreading his hands before his boss.
"Call her for me!" he commanded as authority leaped for expression within him.
When the woman came, he pronounced, "This time next year, I see you embracing a baby boy!" Afterwards, he was at peace with himself.
"No sir! You're a holy man of God; don't deceive me; it is too late. I've done everything to have a child unsuccessfully." she replied in unbelief; her mood changed as sadness enveloped her.
She embraced a baby boy at the appointed time!
The story is on Prophet Elisha and the rich woman of Shunem. 2 Kings 4.
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