"Mommy," sacrificed the small boy, running toward his mother. "Mommy, you must help my sister." She is trying to take some food away from a dog.
The fragile-looking woman hurried outside just in time to see her daughter putting some unclean food into her mouth. The dog had apparently decided that the food was too rotted to eat itself and allowed the child to have it.
"No! Do not eat that." It is not clean, "the mother is slightly scolded. She grabbed the dirty food and thread it back toward the dog, who smelled it and then let it lie on the ground.
Some neighbor women look their heads in bewilderment. "That child of hers is possessed with some demon." She does such stupid things, "said one of the women.
"You're right," the other woman agreed. "The mother even tells people that she is at wit's end, not knowing what to do with that kid." Putting her hand slowly over her lips, she added, "I even heard her say that the girl has a devil inside her."
"I do not doubt it at all," the first woman admitted. "There is definitely something very seriously wrong with her. She is like a dog or some other dirty animal, not like a human at all."
Inside her humble little house, the mother tried to wash the young child who was crying and babbling some nonsensical string of chatter. The mother tried to show love, but the girl resisted and was out of control again. She tried to reach breakable items which had purposely been placed out of her reach to prevent her from breaking all their possessions.
During all of the commotion that was going on, an older son entered the house and tried to get his mother's attention. "Mother! Mother, listen to me, please." It took a few minutes for him to finally get his mother to look toward him with frustration writing on her face.
"What is the problem?" She asked her older son. "Can not you see that I'm overwhelmed with your sister's destructive actions?"
The teen boy tried to lower his mother's anxiety, touching her shoulder and trying to help control his baby sister's attempts to destroy their property. "Now, Mother. Please listen to me. Let me help with the baby, but please listen to what I have to say."
Sitting on a stool nearby while the teen tried to hold his struggling baby sister on his lap, he began. "Mother, that Jewish man named Jesus has just come to the edge of Sidon. You told us to let you know if He ever came around."
A slight suggestion of hope for her devil-controlled daughter brought the mother to attention. "I could go there and ask Him to heal my baby." Her thoughts were all on this small piece of hope for her daughter.
Rushing to make herself as presentable as possible, the mother felt some shame for the confrontation with her older son. "I am sorry to be short-tempered with you, Son." She patted his cheek and tried to give him a smile. The smile did not hide her extreme negative thoughts about her youngest child and whether Jesus would rid her of the demonic spirit that the baby had.
It did not occur to her that cultural problems would interfere with the request for healing for her child. She found herself near a crowd of people, all seemingly wanting to see Jesus. Pushing through the crowd, she found opportunity to try to get the attention of this Man from Galilee. She lowered her body before Jesus saying, "My Lord, please consider my request. My daughter has some bad spirit, maybe a devil of some sort. Would you please have mercy and heal her?"
Some of the followers of Jesus, mostly Jewish men, tried to push her aside and encourage her to leave Jesus alone. Finally, someone said, "Tell her to go away, Jesus." She is disturbing us and also interfering with your work here. "
Jesus ignored both the man who made the suggestion and the woman who had asked for mercy. He seemed intent on listening to neither of them. He continued to walk and entertain questions from the crowd. They entered a small house where Jesus sat in such a manner that most of those present could hear his words.
The mother fell down at His feet as He sat. She again pleaded for her daughter and for mercy. "Lord, You're the son of David the great king. Please have mercy on me and my family."
For some time, the woman endured the quiet type of rejection which companies being ignored. She tried to reveal that she worshiped Jesus and loved Him.
Finally, Jesus told her that she was not a Jewish person and that His mission at the time was to the Jews. Thinking about that, the woman realized that being a Greek made her less likely to receive the blessing she had asked for.
Perhaps Jesus, too, tired of this foreign woman lying at his feet. At any rate, He decreed to tell her, "It is not right to take the food which was meant for the children in the family and give it to the dogs."
Some Jews in the crowd nodded toward each other, smiling because Jesus had actually called the woman a dog. Of course, Jews considered dogs to be very unclean animals. Now, maybe she would leave Jesus alone and go home to her undesirable family.
The woman could not conceive a slight smile as she said, "Oh Lord, it is true that You should not give to the dogs that which belong to the children of the family."
More smiles and nods from Jews who had accompanied Jesus. Impatiently, they waited for the woman to rise and trod toward her home.
"Dogs should not expect to be seated at the family table at mealtime. They belong on the floor," the woman added. "They wait for some crumbs to fall from someone's plate and onto the floor. Since the children do not want the food which falls onto the floor, the dogs can rejoice that they can have those small crumbs."
Jesus seemed surprised and added. "Your faith in God and your obvious devotion to me and my cause have moved me. That which you asked for has been given. Your daughter is cured and delivered from the devilish spirit that controlled her."
With extreme devotion, with great humility, and with praises in her heart, the woman backed away from Jesus and the crowd in the house. She found herself torn between love for Jesus and thankfulness for His mercy upon her home.
At home, everything was much different than when she had left home a few hours before. The daughter blessed her mother with a hug. The other children in the house were also quiet and even reverent when their mother entered the house.
The older son expressed his confidence. "Mother, we were aware of when you received your request from this Jesus. Everything changed here. The devil is gone out of our baby sister."
"Yes," the mother agreed. "Jesus said that I am a dog because I am not a Jew but asked Him to do for me what He usually does for the Jewish people."
"You're a dog?" The teen boy incredulously asked. "That does not sound like a nice thing for Him to tell you, Mother."
"I think it depends on whose dog I am." I am a dog that belongs to Jesus. He takes good care of his own. "