‘Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’

 ~ 1 Kings 17.8-9


“I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar … for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”

       GOD has told his mightiest living prophet of the day to go somewhere, it could be anywhere, and he will be fed by a woman whom God himself has prepared for the task. But when Elijah gets there, he finds the woman hasn’t really got any food at all and she doesn’t seem to be aware of any high purpose she might have. In fact, she has given up any expectation of getting through the famine of a long drought and simply wants to scrabble together a tiny last meal to share with her child before they lie down together and wait for death to take them from their misery. No doubt the last thing she thinks she needs right now is a wild-eyed, matty-haired man of God asking her for something to eat!

We could think about Elijah’s faith in following through on a seemingly hopeless situation but this isn’t really about him. He’s been fed by ravens in the wilderness and sucked water from a rock to quench his thirst, so this probably doesn’t even seem too unpromising to him now. No. This is about the woman.

When Elijah commands her to do as she says she intends to except that she must feed him first, she does what he says! Why? Is she just so desperate that she’ll do what this loser says because he is forceful enough, and she and her son are going to die anyway, so what’s the point in arguing about it? Well, no doubt there is a Dylanesque element of, “When ya ain’t got nothing, ya got nothin’ t’lose” about it, but there is something more than that here. When the man of God speaks to her, there is something deep inside her that knows that what is happening to her is of God.


Because deep down inside, every creature, everything that lives, knows the Maker and recognizes authenticity. God really has prepared every single one of us!

        What will it take to make us see?

                                                      And then if we see, what are we going to do to wake the others?

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on January 28, 2017.

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