Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15:21-28
Our dog Petey loves to cram herself under the kitchen table at meals. There's so little room that we have to shoo her out to all be able to sit down. Still, she hovers, always hopeful, always ready to help us with the meal. Even if she has been fed seconds before, she hopes to find some rare tasty morsel that we have abandoned. She is relentless, and never gives up.
A woman comes to Jesus on behalf of her daughter. She is a foreigner, an outsider to the faith and an indigenous woman in a land taken over by invaders. She does not want to solve the social or political problems, she simply wants her daughter whole and will not be denied. Her love is fierce and shameless. She has to persuade Jesus, the teacher, to provide the healing. Jesus' rejection turns into admiration and love. Her faith not only brought healing to her daughter but insight to the disciples and Jesus himself. The power of love, the truest gift from God, will never fail, never give up.
Today I ask God to help me be persistent and relentlessness in my faith. May love be our breastplate and our armor today, so that people may know we are equipped by God to bring healing to a broken world.