I awoke earlier than normal the next morning. The thought that I could go home soon was so wonderful I couldn’t bear to waste a moment sleeping. I slipped on my brown dress and brushed my hair as the first rays of dawn peeked into Mistress’s room. I heard her stir next door and I stepped inside, ready to help. I felt I could handle anything that day with a smile and cheerful obedience.
Yet…though I was quite happy and hopeful inside…Mistress wasn’t. Of course, that was to be expected, but still…was it right for me to be so happy?
“Of course it is,” I told myself. “You’ve missed your family, and now you’re going to see them again. Of course you’d be happy.”
But the same news that made me rejoice made Mistress mourn. As the next three days passed, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. After all, her husband was dying. She might never see him again.
“There’s nothing I can do about it, though,” I thought. I watched as she silently ate a little breakfast, clearly not hungry. “Even if you are supposed to care more than you do, you can’t help her. No one can.”
“Are you sure?”
I looked down at the floor, a thought suddenly striking me. In Israel, I had often heard about a prophet named Elisha. Word had spread about amazing things he had done in the past, such as parting the Jordan river, like Elijah, and even raising a child from the dead.* Was it possible that he could heal a man from leprosy?
My heart began to beat faster. Was it possible? Could Naaman be healed?
Deep down, I knew it was. I knew God’s prophet might be able to heal Naaman. “I have the solution.” I stared at Mistress as she sat alone, my thoughts tumbling around. “I know the solution. Master could be healed if he went to the prophet. I know, and she doesn’t.”
I stepped back farther and leaned against the cold wall. I was breathing harder than normal, and my head hurt. These were big thoughts and struggles for an eleven-year-old. “Do I have to tell him?” I whispered. “Do I have to tell Naaman, my enemy, that there might be a way for him to be healed?”
The door opened and Martha came in bearing a tray of steaming food for Mistress. Tears formed in my eyes as I watched my friend, and I began to slowly shake my head. “I can’t do that. I can’t tell Master. I can’t help him. If I do, Martha and the others will have to remain here forever. They’d all hate me. Why would I give up their friendship, why would I destroy their hopes, why would I hurt those kind-hearted girls, for my enemy? Why would I give up my hope of going home? If Master is healed, I’ll be forced to stay here forever. I may never see my family again. I can’t do that. Why would God want that? Why would that be part of his plan?”
Then, for the first time since I had been captured, I remembered what Daddy had said the morning I was taken away. “‘Do not gloat when your enemy falls;’” Daddy quoted, “‘when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.’”** The words hit me like a bolt of lightning: “‘If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.’”***
It was as if Daddy had just said it. I could hear his voice, loud and clear, ringing in my head. “We are not supposed to deal out vengeance. We are not supposed to make sure everyone gets what they deserve. We are simply supposed to trust God, his decisions, his timing, his actions. Our job is to love our enemies and leave the rest to God.”
“How can we love the people of Aram?” my sister had asked.
“You just do,” Daddy answered softly. “You choose to feed them and give them water. You choose to serve them. You choose to help them.”
“‘You choose to help them,’” I whispered. “I have to choose to help my enemy. I am supposed to help him. I am supposed to help Naaman.
I shook my head. “I can’t do that. I can’t tell Master that he could be healed. I can’t. I can’t help him.”
“You choose to,” The voice inside my head said. “You must choose to do what’s right. You must.”
“But he’s wicked,” I countered. “He worships other gods and he keeps me from going home. He doesn’t deserve it.”
“Does it matter?” Daddy’s question bounced into my head. “Solomon’s words are simple: ‘Do not gloat when your enemy falls’, but rather help your enemy when he’s in need, ‘and the LORD will reward you’. That’s what we are told to do.”
I closed my eyes. “All right,” I whispered. “I’ll do it.”
*2 Kings 2:14, 4:32-35