There is a tension in Christianity between on the one hand, living a holy life that abstains from sin, and on the other, participating in systems that seem necessary but give us pause. Being a part of our communities in ways that call into question the ideals of Christ. One's career is a common area this challenge surfaces.
On that topic, this passage caught my attention today.
In 2 Kings 5 the
commander of the army of one of Israel's enemies, Namman, had a
problem, leprosy--a disease that would surely kill him, and which
alienated him from his community.
And yet, he hears about the
power of God, from of all people, a young Israelite girl that had been
carried away into slavery, likely by his army. Desperate, he dared to
approach the people he abused, and asked for help.
The King of
Israel was distraught, certain that his failure to heal Namman's
disease would be a pretext for war. But then a lowly prophet stepped
Like all of us, Namman, an enemy of God, experienced the grace of God.
And then this is what caught my attention:
"But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my
master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my
arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of
Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”
“Go in peace,” Elisha said."