Rahab - A Monologue
“Who does she think she is?”
I heard their whispers, saw the looks of disdain on their faces as I walked by. I knew the hatred they had for me. Every single ounce of their loathing was mine to claim – and I deserved it.
To them, I was a filthy wretched whore. I was the woman who welcomed their husbands into my home at night. I was the one who wore beautiful clothing – bought with money their men gave me. I had ruined more lives and broken more hearts than I could muster up the strength to think about.
They were right.
I… was… nothing.
Ducking my head, face burning with shame, I walked quickly back to the safety of my home. There, I would be free to lift up my head. I was free to remove the mask of shame I kept firmly in its place each time I walked out that door.
Hanging my shawl over a chair, I turned, a soft breeze through my window beckoned me. Outside, a hummingbird flitted merrily near the azaleas I had watered just an hour before. The orange-y, red flowers were bursting with color and beauty. So sweet. So… so pure. I dropped my head in my hands, unable to hold back the tears any longer! “Why?” I sobbed, “Why do I even exist? If only I’d never been born!” My knees dropped from beneath me as I knelt crying. I had never hurt so deeply. Even my soul felt as though it would shatter beneath the weight of my pain.
I don’t know how long I knelt there. Was it a minute or was it an hour? I truly don’t remember. But as my sobs began to ease… it came. A sweet, sweet presence filled my room. I peeked up to see who or what was there… but I was alone. All was quiet but for the buzzing of the hummingbird as it continued to feed on the azaleas.
I sat up straighter, the hair standing up on my neck. What was this… this feeling of peace surrounding me? Then the words that came filled my senses like nothing I’d ever experienced. “You… are my… azalea.”
What? What was this? Had I gone crazy? I felt as though I had gone truly mad – yet I heard it again! “You… are my… azalea.” My eyes burned as I stared deeply at the velvety petals on my windowsill and slowly the knowledge that God was speaking to me, Rahab... Rahab the prostitute, washed over me… and… I… melted.
“Your… your azalea?” My words were halting and fearful and… and disbelieving.
“Yes.” His words were so pleasant. So unlike anything I’d ever heard before! “People see your beauty on the outside,” He said, “but I’m like that hummingbird – I want what you hold deep within. Inside is your life source – your soul – that’s what I’m after. Will you give it to me? Will you be my azalea?”
I shudder to think where I would be today, if not for that moment in time, for it was that evening when we first heard the rumblings of the coming Israelite army. In the weeks ahead, our town would be demolished – leaving no one to survive.
That day by the azaleas changed me. Before that, I felt I was unlovable. I was broken, dirty and worthless. I deserved nothing but hatred, punishment and death. But that afternoon, God opened my eyes. Before Him, I saw that I had value. I was worth something to Him! He… wanted… me!
If not for that, I would have never had the strength… the… the courage to reach out to those Israelite spies. I would have never had the nerve to ask that I might be saved from the coming destruction.
Today, my life is new. I have been blessed beyond words. My husband is a good man who truly loves me… and I love him. Just tonight, he came home from working in the vineyard – his hands clasped behind his back. I giggled with anticipation, “What? What do you have for me this time, Salmon?” I peeked around him trying to see what surprises he held.
The bright, orange-y red azaleas caught me by surprise and tears filled my eyes. Salmon held me close as we swayed back and forth in the moonlight. He knew my story and my heart hurt. This time though, it hurt from the love that filled it so full I feared it would burst. I sniffed in the fragrance of the azaleas and smiled, for now I knew that by giving God all I had within me, He had redeemed my life. He saw the beauty buried deep within me and now, I would forever be His azalea.
©Lynette Carpenter 2011