“She was just a prostitute. Who cares?”
The words from the newspaper article of a slain young woman clutch my heart like a vise, squeezing until my breath escapes. I pound my chest hoping it would relieve the ache from the callous remarks.
Has our world really gotten this heartless?
I shake my head and stuff the paper back into my bag, not wanting my guest to see the judgmental day and age we live in.
Of course hers wasn’t any different.
The front door of the small tearoom opens and Rahab enters. I wave. She smiles and her kingfisher blue eyes sparkle from the sun’s rays flooding through the establishment’s bay window.
Her beaded head covering jingles as she glides toward me. Other patrons stop to stare at the beautiful woman, but quickly turn their gaze.
I catch their expressions. Noses wrinkle, eyes narrow as others lean back and cross their arms.
Judgment fills the room and I want to slice it wide open. I dig my nails into my palms, warding off the anger bubbling inside.
“Welcome to our city. Thank you for coming.” I hug her and in a louder voice I say, “God bless you.” I snicker to myself, knowing it’s something my mother probably would have done.
Sorry Lord, I just couldn’t help myself.
“I’m glad to be here.” Rahab sits and grabs the menu. “Wow, so many types of tea. Which ones are good?” Her eyes widen as she scans the list.
“I’ve heard they’re all delicious. It’s my first time here as well.”
The waitress comes to take our order. We each pick a flavourful herbal tea and scone.
I pull out my questions and recording device. I decide this time not to take notes so I won’t be distracted and miss the young woman’s expressions.
I clear my throat and press record.
“Tell me what it was like to live in your day and age.”
“Tough, especially for a young girl who always liked to get into trouble.” She winks, chuckling at her joke. “Seriously though, I found it hard to abide by every rule when I struggled to believe what my ancestors did.”
“What do you mean?”
“I wanted to make my own living, but it was a man’s world and they wouldn’t let me be a part of it. So, I followed in the footsteps of other young girls caught up in the foolish promises of fame and fortune.” She averts her gaze.
I stay silent, waiting for her to continue.
“I soon became popular and my business boomed.”
I catch her hidden meaning.
“You got what you wanted then.”
“At first. Men came from all around the region, but then things changed. The girls became jealous of me and hatred filled their hearts. I was known as the harlot of the county.”
I hear the catch in her throat. The words from the newspaper article pop into my mind.
How can we not care? The woman before me is real just like the rest of us. She only wants to be loved and accepted. Why do we judge so quickly?
“The men’s desire turned to lust and more.” She rubs her wrists, eyes welling with tears.
I check my notes for my next question, wanting to steer her away from painful thoughts. “But then you changed. How did you come to faith in a God you only heard about?”
Her tears dissipate, eyes brightening. “How could I not believe? He parted the Red Sea and performed miracles. I knew right away He was the One for me.”
“So, when the king’s men came to your house looking for the spies, you knew you had to hide them.”
The waitress brings our tea and scones.
Rahab dips hers in the clotted cream. “Oh, these are amazing. They melt in your mouth.”
I chuckle and take a bite before checking my notes.
“Why do you think the Lord sent the spies to your house?”
She leans forward. “For His divine plan.”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t know?”
“Jesus’ lineage. You see one of those spies was Salmon. I marry him and we have a son. Boaz.”
I gasp. The book of Matthew and the genealogy of Christ runs through my head.
“I get it. Ruth marries Boaz who has Obed.”
“Yes, who has Jesse and then they have David. The line comes to Jesus.” She smiles.
I can imagine the headlines now.
Scandal hits Jericho as Harlot is Named in the Lineage of Jesus.
That would teach them for judging. We can learn from this woman’s story.
God used a woman with a past for an amazing future. A future of salvation.
How could we ever doubt His plans?
I grab her hand. “Thank you for meeting with me. One more question. Why a scarlet rope?”
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
She squeezes my hand.
Isaiah 1:18 (The Voice)
Come on now, let’s walk and talk; let’s work this out.
Your wrongdoings are blood red,
But they can turn as white as snow.
Your sins are red like crimson,
But they can be made clean again like new wool.
What did you learn from Rahab’s story? I’ve always been fascinated by it and enjoyed doing the research for this post. I must confess, I had either forgotten or totally missed her lineage to Christ! So cool. I’m also reminded about not judging. We tend to jump quickly to an opinion of someone by the way they look, talk, or act. Shame on us. Share your thoughts.