A Great Woman
2 Kings 9:19 - 2 Kings 14:5
I loved the line in the reading today that said, "Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?" (2 Kings 10:15)
I found myself thinking of what it might mean for a heart to be right.
I was reminded of one of my favorite stories we read several days ago. The story is in 2 Kings 4. It is about a woman whose name we are never told. She is known simply as a great woman.
A woman whose heart was right.
Here is how the story goes.
Elisha was a prophet of the Lord. Every time he visited the city Shunem, he would pass by the home of a great woman who would offer him bread. One day this great woman said to her husband, “Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.” (2 Kings 4:9)
Right away we learn two things about this woman. First, she knew that Elisha was a holy man, and second we learn that he came to her house continually. From this great woman we learn the importance of two lessons ––we must learn to recognize the prophet today as a holy man and we must invite him into our house continually. Now, most likely the prophet will not visit our home today. But when we listen to General Conference (which we are about to do) or read his words in the Ensign or the New Era, he is visiting our home, just like Elisha visited the woman in this story.
One day the woman asked her husband if they could make a place for the prophet to stay ––a little chamber with a bed, a table, a stool and a candlestick.
It is important to note that what this woman offered did not require a lot of money, time, or great talent. She simply offered what she had.
And so the prophet, Elisha, came and stayed in this chamber. One day, out of gratitude, he called for the woman to come to him and he said, “Thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee?”(2 Kings 4:13) He wondered if he should say good things about her to the king, or even the captain of the host.
But the woman answered, “I dwell among mine own people.” Or in other words, I am happy just the way things are and I don’t expect anything in return for my service. In our day Elisha might have asked, “What can I do to repay you?” And the woman would have answered, “Nothing.”
This woman was happy to serve without a reward.
I find it fitting that her quiet act of kindness remains secret today. We know her story, but we are never told her name.
She is known simply as A Great Woman.
Think about the people within your circle of influence. Those who walk past you every day.
Is there something you could offer them? Can you think of a way you might serve them? Has the Lord blessed you with something that would allow you to touch their lives for good?
Did you notice this great woman was not asked to serve? She wasn't given an assignment. Her actions for good were not extended because of a calling she held.
She simply saw a need and she filled it.
That is the mark of a great woman.