“Lord,” she squeals. Everyone turns to see her scratch through the crowd, running to the Master, raising dust. “Go home,” says a man, a temple leader. He straightens his robe and shoves her to the ground. “It’s not for me,” she screams. “I’m nothing. Not worthy of the Master’s glance.” She turns to Jesus. “It’s my daughter, Lord. She’s stricken by demons, but I know you can heal her.” His followers block Him from her advance. “Send her away,” they say in His ear. “She’s filthy…and a Canaanite.”
Jesus shakes his head, turning to the woman and bending down to her. “Woman,” He whispers. “The time is not yet come.” He straightens and speaks louder to the crowd: “I am sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
Falling in on herself, she paws the dirt at his feet. “Lord, help me.”
“It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs,” He says. His followers nod and grab His shoulders. “Let us go, Master. There’s work to do.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she peeps, and the crowd gasps. No one asking for healing or for favor ever disagrees with Him. Peter turns to shove her away, but Jesus grabs him.
“Woman?” He says. “What did you say?”
She cowers, whispering. “It is right, Lord. Look how You’re treated. Even dogs eat crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Jesus stood to full height, stretching His spine. “The dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table? Woman? Is that what you said?” His men had never seen their Master angry at anyone except for Temple leaders. It was His right as a man to strike her.
The woman, shriveled like a broken frond, rose up. “Yes,” she says. “Even the dogs get a crumb.”
Jesus pierced her with a stare. Turning to his followers and to the crowd, He explodes with a great laugh. To the woman, He says, “What faith! What My lamb Israel could do if she had just a grain of this faith!” He collected Himself from laughing. “Woman,” He said, to her and to the crowd. “We are from different lands. We have a different history. But never do I see the faith that you have.” He grabbed for her hand, but she jerked it away, unable to even touch him. He bowed to her instead. “Woman, by your faith I grant your request.”
A murmur ran through the crowd, drowning her joyous crying and tears. On that very day her daughter was healed and never again showed any sign of possession but, with her mother, followed the Way of the Master until she died.
These are my crumbs. They fall from the table. A cookie crumb or a bite of bread: I’m a messy eater. I never imagine they are from G’s table but are slivers, light caught out of cracks, secret things. I see them as I walk around. I write them on the fly and don’t smudge them with corrections or eraser marks. I don’t add photos. Subjecting them to SEO makes me feel like I need a shower. They might come from insight, or they might come from out-of-date yogurt. You decide. I’m convinced, though, that beauty and hurt, which is a kind of beauty, lies in cracks between our daily doings. My ancient grandmother humming a Czech hymn on Friday night while she swishes the wet mop head back and forth. My wife, breaking down, and then catching herself in the shower, reminding herself to be strong. Reader? That is beauty. Beauty in the face of it. It’s my granddaughter – I like this one – telling her mom “I love you, but I love Grandpa the most.” To catch the light from the crack before it closes. That’s where it’s at. Keep digging when you see it. Crumbs. Enjoy them before the dogs do. Selah.