Thursday, October 31, 2013

From A Broken Line

I am really enjoying hosting this Empathy Series for the blog. We have had such a diverse, unique approach from each contributor. I am pleased to introduce another friend from the Story Community, Abby Norman. Feel free to give her some comment love and visit her blog linked at the bottom of this post.

Note: This story has sensitive/mature content, but don't let that scare you away. The Bible has that stuff, too. :)

From A Broken Line
 
I need to explain some things to you. About the way things happened, about the choices I made and the ones that were made for me. I need to explain about the boxes I’ve been put in and the pieces of my story that don’t fit on a felt board. It isn’t as simple as all that.

Some people tell my story with my back arched and my breasts full. They describe me in a tub in the middle of the day, my hair swinging in the wind like a Vidal Sassoon commercial. I wanted the king to find me on the roof top; I had been waiting for him in my nakedness. He was falling into my trap.

More likely I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. I was doing what God asked me to do, the ritual cleansing, the purification. I was obeying the Lord, I was honoring the law.

Is that the piece of my story that people are uncomfortable with? You aren’t always protected by your own purity, honoring the law doesn’t always save you. That is sometimes what they teach in Sunday school, isn’t it? God has rules, you follow them. Following God’s laws keeps you safe.

Except for when it doesn’t. Sometimes doing the right thing at the right time leaves you naked and vulnerable. Sometimes, the king calling you to his bedroom quarters has nothing to do with you at all.

My part of this tale is written nowhere else but on my heart. Did I run to the bedroom and leap into the kings arms? Did I hang my head in shame at the touch of hands not belonging to my husband? Did I cry in ecstasy or agony? I suppose it depends on who is telling the tale.

One thing everyone seems to agree about: my relationship with David was conceived in sin. Even if it wasn’t my sin, it was a sin none the less.

And yet… And yet my name is uttered as the forebearer to Jesus. Jesus was sewn from my broken line. I wish that was the story that was told. Sin you caused and sin you are a victim of, all of sin can be redeemed. Jesus is sewn into broken lines.

But that story doesn’t fit on the felt board. It doesn’t fit in the boxes they want to stuff me in, so instead I am Bathsheba: temptress, victim.

I wish they would call me what I am, forebearer to the King, fully redeemed.


Drawn from the story of David and Bathsheba from 2 Samuel 11.


Abby Norman lives and loves in the city of Atlanta. She has two hilarious children and a husband that doubles as her copy editor and biggest fan. If two in diapers and a full time job teaching English at a local high school don’t keep her busy, you can find her blogging at accidentaldevotional.com.

9 comments:

  1. Oh, Abby, what a beautiful post! You brought tears to my eyes. I love this line: "Sin you caused and sin you are a victim of, all of sin can be redeemed. Jesus is sewn into broken lines." There is no sin so great that cannot be redeemed! Another thought is how often we are tempted to judge people by what they look like or by the circumstances that surround them. May God give us eyes to see the truth!

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  2. Sister, you are full of brave. I'll take your rich voice over the felt board any day.

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  3. I love this, Abby! There's so much here:

    "They describe me in a tub in the middle of the day, my hair swinging in the wind like a Vidal Sassoon commercial."

    And this: "Jesus was sewn from my broken line."



    Whew. Gorgeous. Rich

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  4. Abby,

    This reminds me of something I read about within the last week and that is the Japanese art form called Kintsugi where they repair broken pottery with resin sprinkled with gold and consider the vessel of greater worth than before it was broken. I like Idelette and Gayl love the line "Jesus was sewn from my broken line."

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  5. Love this, Abby. I've taught on the women in the genealogy of Jesus and it's a powerful topic. Bathsheba DOES get a bad rap. In that time in history, if the king sent for you, you went. Period. I won't go so far as to call this rape, but it's probably a lot closer to it than we were taught as children. I love the opening of the story - it was spring time, when kings were at war. . . but David was not. He had too much time on his hands, he had slipped into the dangerous side of fame and power and Bathsheba was pretty much a victim, I think. There are a lot of things about David that I don't particularly like. But then again, there are a lot of things about ME I don't particularly like, either. So, in the long run, looking at the big picture and seeing this clear weakness in a 'man after God's own heart' encourages me a little. If David did enough 'right' to be that close to God and still blew it, bigtime, then maybe there's hope for me, you know?

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  6. I love it that you think outside those boxes we too often allow to close around our imaginations. Yes, there is a third way to look at things; Bathsheba as a person, as a woman, fully redeemed no matter what her story may look like. This is so encouraging and hope-giving. Thank you for stepping outside your preferred genre to write this; for helping us see this story through your compassionate eyes.

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  7. "Jesus
    was sewn from my broken line. I wish that was the story that was told.
    Sin you caused and sin you are a victim of, all of sin can be redeemed.
    Jesus is sewn into broken lines." YES, Abby. Beautiful writing.

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  8. Thank you. I treasure your encouragement so, so much.

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  9. My friend Jennifer Upton (I have been using her photography on my blog) likes to say that her and David fight. I love that. I love the wrestling out with some of these stories. I fight with Jacob.

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