She came to our unit for close monitoring: low mental state, metabolic acidosis and narrowly compromised vital signs. She must be seventy years old... no, forty-five?! Forty-five years old! Frail and emaciated, she looked like she just emerged from a concentration camp.
A camp she must have built for herself. Her history suggested alcohol abuse. Deranged liver enzymes showed a damaged liver. How can a person live through this?
And she may not be the only one. There are more out there hiding in their own fancy yet fatal disguise.
I looked after her on that day and some days, too. I noticed a scratch on my arm at the end of my shift. I didn’t know where I got it, but then I thought it could be from her as she tried to resist me when I was doing my nursing care.
The scratch has now became a cut. Her harsh lifestyle certainly cuts and she didn’t even know it. Unintentional. Unmindful of self.
How many days can you count before awakening?
I remember Rahab.
When Rahab heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before the Israelites when they came out of Egypt and what they did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, who were devoted to destruction, her heart melted.
She was called from her world of pagan worship and pornographic desire. Her dissolute character was forgiven.
She was stirred so she believed. Once a godless harlot is now a believer of the Lord God whom she described as God in the heavens and the earth beneath. (Joshua 2:10-11)
She hid the spies... lied to the king... deceived the king’s men.
She risked her life because she believed.
When her heart melted, her faith grew strong and it moved her.
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31
Where true faith expose itself in good works and endeavor in risk for the cause of God, salvation is a secure reward.
Rahab, a sinner saved by God’s grace.
As she tied the scarlet cord in the window, grace flaunts in divine resolve. (Joshua 2:18, 21)
The cord in Hebrew is tiqvah, means Hope.
An expectation. A thing longed for.
As the scarlet cord dangles, her hope flourished and she waited faithfully until salvation arrived.
Hope is the only thing that will keep you from despair – C.S. Lewis
True. It sweeps insanity away. It shines like the morning sun, enables us to see with clarity and repurposes our thoughts. It replaces our dark, weary, and challenged past because only light can reveal what shadows really look like. And shadows always stay behind us when we let the light stay before us.
And the scratch? It is now a scar. I’ve had so many scratches from nursing at bedside, they’ve all healed and gone but the caring experience remains.
Hope beckons a new start.
We cling to the scarlet cord where three strands bind: the triune God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Every fiber of the cord stretches to the throne of grace to redeem and renew our spirit with blazing fire of hope. We will become radiant when we experience His glory.
We must believe. We must act our faith. Just as Rahab did. She didn’t sit on her faith, she walked by faith.
And she invites us to walk with her in faith.