Today I want to talk about another un-named character.
You may know the story but I want to tell it from the point of view of a character we don’t normally think about very much.
So let’s give her a name.
No! I think it would be better to talk about her without a name.
The Bible doesn’t tell us very much about her, so let’s fill in the gaps a little bit and try to imagine what life might have been like for Our Girl.
She was born about eight hundred years before the time of Jesus, in the northern kingdom of Israel.
In those days God’s people were actually divided into two kingdoms.
The southern kingdom of Judah with its capital at Jerusalem, and the northern kingdom of Israel with its capital at Samaria.
We can imagine her growing up in a family in a small village in the northern part of Israel.
Doing the things that young girls did in those days.
Playing with her friends and helping out around the house and learning to cook and mend clothes and so on.
She would have heard the stories of Abraham and Moses and the Exodus from Egypt and she would have joined in the family prayers and other rituals handed down from the time of Moses.
Elisha, the prophet, was preaching all over Israel.
Telling the stories of the miracles that God had done through him.
Of the widow who was in debt and Elisha made it so her flask of oil never ran out until she had enough to pay her debts.
How, when a child had died suddenly, Elisha’s prayers had raised him from the dead.
We don’t know whether our Girl had ever seen Elisha, but she had certainly heard the stories about him.
She knew God could do wonderful things through him.
One day her life was changed.
Israel’s traditional enemy was the kingdom of Aram to the north, with its capital in Damascus.
Under its mighty general, Naaman, Aram had won victories over Israel.
Parties of Aramean raiders would cross the border into Israel.
Attack villages and plunder them.
Killing the men and taking the women and children away into slavery.
Our Girl was taken into a large house in Damascus where she became a lady’s maid.
Her mistress was none other than the wife of the great Aramean general Naaman.
We have no idea how long it was that she worked in that house before she began to notice that her master had a skin disease of some kind.
One day our girl said to her mistress,
“I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria.
He would heal him of his skin disease”.
That’s all she said.
But a chain of events was set in motion because of her words.
Naaman’s wife told Naaman.
Naaman set off for Samaria and, to cut a long story short met up with Elisha.
Elisha suggested Naaman should wash in the river Jordan.
After the seventh dunking, his skin disease was gone.
Of course Naaman was overjoyed and said to Elisha,
“Now I know that there is no god in all the world except here in Israel
I want to suggest to you that Our Girl was a great example of a witness.
Someone who points other people in God’s direction.
Let’s think about her a bit more.
We don’t know her name.
She was female.
She was a slave.
What does this tell us?
Firstly God works through people who do not have titles.
Titles such as Vicar, Reader, Pastor, Minister, Bishop, Prophet, Teacher, Evangelist, Apostle.
God does not need our special roles to do anything heavenly.
Titles are unnecessary because we are talking about God.
Eight hundred years before the time of Jesus
Our Girl had already learned the gospel message of loving your enemies and praying for those who hate you!
Her master may even have been part of the raiding party that took her from Israel.
Yet she was still concerned about his welfare and wanted him to be healed of his illness.
I don’t know about you, but when people attack me I don’t usually find that their welfare is the first thing on my mind!
But Our Girl had no doubt that God would want to heal her master.
Even though he was an enemy of Israel.
She reached across the lines of race and religion and tried to help him.
Notice that our girl didn’t have to heal Naaman herself she didn’t have to pray for him to be healed.
All she had to do was point him in the right direction.
Her role was a very small role.
It was a vital one nonetheless.
Without Elisha, Naaman could not have been healed.
But without our Girl, Naaman would never have gone to Elisha to ask for healing.
You may feel that the task of explaining the Christian gospel to someone is beyond you.
You might be afraid of their hostile questions.
You might be terrified of saying the wrong thing and turning them off forever.
You might be unable to imagine yourself ever praying with people and asking God to help them or heal them.
Maybe you can’t be Elisha, but can you be the servant girl?
Of course you can.
We all can.
We can’t all be Elisha, but we can all be the servant girl.
We can be faithful to God even though our circumstances are less than ideal.
We can reach across the barriers;
Caring not only for our friends but also for those we find it difficult to get along with and even for those who we might think of as our enemies.
We can point them in the right direction.
Putting them in touch with someone who can talk with them.
Visiting them or helping them in whatever their need is.
When we do that, God can work through us.
Just as he worked through that servant girl.
The result might just be that someone who God loves is brought closer to Him.
Our Girl was female, a slave, she had no title.
She was a nobody.
Yet God used her.
He didn’t send the vicar.
We can all be that servant girl.
We can all be the nobody that somebody needs.