Daily Worship

Sam

August 14, 2021 8
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Image credit: Unsplash

2 Samuel 18: 5, 12-14 (NIVUK)

5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, ‘Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.’ And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders.

12 But the man replied, ‘Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, “Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.” 13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy – and nothing is hidden from the king – you would have kept your distance from me.’

14 Joab said, ‘I am not going to wait like this for you.’ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.

— Please note the following piece mentions abuse. —

 

Be careful what you say and who you say it to. My old man said that to me when I was wee. Never listened much to dad — wish I had — words have real power. I’ve said some monumentally stupid things. This story’s about a time when I didn’t.

I knew someone once — let’s call her Sam. When I first met her she was bent and broken and weighed down by demons — her own and those that life had decided to heap upon her thin, trembling shoulders.

Abused as a child, sent into care, assaulted and sexually abused there, ended up a sex worker for a while and, as is so common fell into violence and crime and addiction. Just when she thought she was OK, she was seriously sexually assaulted by someone she should have been able to trust. She would practically run into the surgery, covered over in a coat and hat pulled down over her ears and forehead. Bits of fabric to shut out and protect herself from a world which quite frankly had torn her to shreds.

We worked together for quite a while and I was privileged to begin to see her recover and mend. This one time we were talking about her hopes for the future (by this stage she’d begun to believe there actually was a word called hope) I made what was to me a throwaway remark at the end of a very long day. I said “You know, I believe in you Sam, you’re worth it”. A few years went on and little by little she embraced recovery, her back grew straighter, gone was the hat and in its place was beautiful blond hair. The last time I saw her she almost glowed.

She said “Dr J, one of the things that helped me most was when you told me I was worth it”. Nobody had ever really said that to her before — or if they had she wasn’t in a position to hear it.

She passed a few years ago, just one of these random things and nothing to do with all that had gone before. She died beside someone she loved and who loved her. So that day I sat with him and we cried and talked and cried and talked.

I imagine her soul set free like a butterfly and I can just see her fly.

I miss you Sam, I really do.

A lot of the time I feel worthless, yet, when I think of you, thanking me for telling you you were worth it — I begin to feel worth it too.

 

PRAYER:

 

Lord, when I have nothing to say.

When my hand is over my mouth

Speak through these poor lips the right words said in the right way to let folks know love.

As you love me,

 

Amen.