Monday, July 17, 2006

More Longing for Home

I keep participating in meetings and getherings where I am warned against pulling lines and bits of the Bible out of their context. At the same time, I keep not reading the entire Bible at one sitting. Sorry.
Today I had the chance to read this little part of the Bible: "And she went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' And her mother answered, 'The head of John the Baptist,'" (Mark 6:24). In the story it occurs as background information; it is easy to miss the family trauma here. A girl (we don't know her age) dances for her uncle/stepfather on his birthday. Her mother is so desperate to leave the past in the past that she plots to silence the voice of a man who speaks out against her new marriage. The girl, still doing her part to stabilize the new family situation, dutifully passes on her mother's request as her own.
Mark's story is about Jesus. This bit is about John. Unless I pull one little verse out of the story of Jesus and John I will miss the story of a little girl who would do anything to make her family make sense. Her's is a story that reemerges throughout history, but is not often reported. As I picture her carrying a platter to her mother, I grieve and groan for all the death and pain and abuse that goes on because little girls want their famlies to work. I suppose this regrettable part of the story continues until home breaks in.


geoff said...

hey ryan,
thanks for making me feel compassion for this young woman. you have opened up the living word for me.

Maria Kenney said...

Ryan -- I've always been drawn to this story, and I've always loved the girl's name, Salome. It's actually what I wanted to name my daughter; I love how it derives from shalom. Maybe she was trying to bring shalom in the only way she felt was open to her.