Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: RED (02/01/18)
- TITLE: Strands of Deliverance
By Donna Powers
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You ask me of a story near to my heart. I regret your request comes because of the taunts of fellow landowners, but will gladly tell how I met and fell in love with your mother.
In my youth, I went into military service. Our family is of royal lineage, but that meant little in those turbulent times. We got a small stipend for overseeing our land, but no special treatment. Our family lived as humble agrarians and herders.
So, when Joshua called upon us to conquer the city of Jericho in the Name of God, I was proud to serve under him. The day came when Joshua asked for spies to survey the land. I volunteered, as did my brother, Phineas.
After we spent the day scouting within the city, we sought shelter. The only place which would welcome us was the inn of Rahab: the notorious prostitute. She welcomed us without hesitation. She risked her own life to do so, as the leaders of Jericho had sworn to kill any who worshipped our God.
As Rachel hid us on her roof under piles of flax, she told us, “I know the Lord has given this land to you…We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you… When we heard of it … everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in (heaven and earth).” *
So perhaps she hid us out of fear of God, but her action could have cost her life – and the lives of her family. So, she continued, “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness...(and save us)…” *
We gratefully gave that promise.
When we sought a way to safely escape her home, my eyes caught upon a long, bright scarlet cord. Seeing it brought me back to my childhood:
When I was a young boy, my mother would weave us shawls. Unlike our drab brown tunics, these shawls were strewn with vibrant strands of red. She chose the color to remind us of the lamb’s blood that saved God’s chosen people; the night of His great Passover. Those shawls warmed us against the winter winds, and the crimson color warmed my heart.
That night, as we descended that cord to our safety, its brightness invoked a memory of the comfort of my mother’s scarves.
When we returned to Jericho with our army and took the city in God’s Name, we honored our word to Rahab and spared her and her family. As we parted, my eyes were caught by the bright red of the linens she had hung to draw our eyes to her home. Once again, my heart was comforted by that color. I felt drawn to her – and not just because of those colors.
I knew Rahab’s reputation. I knew what the reactions of my colleagues would be; if a prince were to dine with a harlot. Yet, I couldn’t so easily abandon the feeling of warmth I had felt, in her home.
To be honest, her reputation disgusted me at first. I could not see her as a woman worthy of my devotion. Yet, over time, God changed my heart and I was able to see her as a person who had been trapped in her circumstances and made the best of them. My feelings grew into love for her, and she became my wife.
So, you see, Boaz: what they say of your mother is true. Yes, she did what they say she did. But God has helped her become so much more. She is now a beautiful woman of God. She makes her living weaving red-streaked garments and linens – just like the ones she gave you when you became a man and took over your landowner duties.
The red strands of your garments do not symbolize her harlotry; as your fellow landowners say. They symbolize our deliverance, by God, from the yoke of oppression. For me, personally – they symbolize the bonds of love.
Remember, my son: God’s view of a person is different than ours, so if often differs from their reputation. God can change a scarlet past into a snowy white future when we allow Him to do so.
So, be alert, my son. When you seek a wife, don’t judge her by the standards of the world – for Heaven may have an even brighter plan.
Your loving father,
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