The Other Woman



In 2 Kings 4:8-37, death claims a woman's only son. Reading about her grief dredged up memories of my husband’s death. I spent months languishing in sorrow, wishing God had taken me too. 

Unlike this woman's son, God didn't send a prophet to raise my husband from the dead. In fact, my husband returned in a dream. He told me to let him go. My tears and pleas would not bring him back. 

The following day, I made an appointment for a  haircut and dragged myself out of the house.  

The woman in the next chair was complaining about her house renovations. “After all the money we’ve spent redoing the kitchen, the new counter tops don’t match my decor. The contractor insists that’s what we ordered and refuses to change it. It makes me ill to think of shelling out more money to replace them, but I can’t go into the kitchen without bursting into tears.”

After just losing my husband of seventeen years and becoming the sole proprietor of a small business, as well as a single parent, her problem seemed shallow in comparison and I never forgot the conversation.

Now, twenty years later, my current husband and I have listed our house for sale. To my horror, I have become that woman, whining and complaining about small annoyances while others are dealing with horrific problems. How easy it is to lose perspective, caught up in the mundane and often ordinary aspects of our micro-worlds, blowing inconveniences into major tragedies. 

Life can change in a single breath. 

Worrying, even over big things, accomplishes nothing except robbing us of today’s blessings. It is a better use of our energy to be thankful for what we have and to pray for those who are not so lucky.  

Forgive me, Lord, for focusing on my small problems while others suffer. Open my heart, encourage generosity and compassion instead of shallow pleas for personal gifts. Amen.

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