Extraordinary Compassion

Scripture Reading — 2 Kings 5:1-6

“If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
2 Kings 5:3 — 

If anyone had an excuse not to be used by God, the servant girl of Naaman did. She had been captured by the enemy. She had been taken from her family, her people, and her land. She was a stranger and a foreigner, and now she was a slave in the household of Naaman.

If anyone had an excuse not to be compassionate, this servant girl did. Many people in her circumstances might have taken great joy at the suffering of their master. Naaman was afflicted with leprosy, a deforming disease that separated people from their community and eventually caused great suffering and death. And yet this slave girl saw herself as a servant of the living God. When suffering entered into her household, she wanted to see that suffering relieved and her master healed.

In our passage, the phrase “If only …” is like a hinge on which the heart of the story of God unfolds. This phrase needs to be read with compassion and hope. This unnamed servant girl’s plaintive cry to her master’s wife starts Naaman on a journey that will eventually lead him to Elisha and an encounter with the living God. An unnamed servant girl has a heart of compassion, and that leads to a life that is changed by the power and heart of God.


God of healing and hope, there is suffering in this world, in our neighborhoods, and in our families. May we be instruments of your compassion, healing, and hope. Amen.


Devotion topics: Bible, Bible Characters, Naaman