Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Change in a Sister's Heart, Part I

The night air was a blessed relief from the heat of the day.  She was grateful for the sound of the nearby river and for the reassurance it gave concerning water for her children. In their long journey from Haran, the closeness of water had been something she no longer took for granted.

It had been a long, tense day; the culmination of weeks of worry.  She sat down by the fire for just a moment, allowing the stiffness in her back to dissipate after the hours of travel.  She and her children and the rest of her husband’s family would rest here for the night.   The revelations of the day had transformed their travel.  They no longer walked in fear that Esau would attack and kill them; through a miracle of grace, he had forgiven his brother and then left to return home.  She still couldn’t believe what she had witnessed with her own eyes.

All of her married life, she had known that Jacob had left his childhood home out of fear that his brother would kill him.  Her husband didn’t speak of it often, and never to her, but she had overheard the story as he told it to Rachel.  Jacob had stolen his birthright and the blessing given by their father.  She understood how Esau could hate Jacob. 

As she sat beside the fire, she watched her sister as Rachel prepared herself to greet Jacob.  The ever-present resentment rose within her.  Rachel was the one Jacob loved.  Rachel was the one he had chosen.  Leah had been forced upon him, and that fact had forever impacted their lives together.  Leah was his first wife, but even today, as they walked out to meet Esau, Rachel had been given the place of honor, last in line to approach the brother.  Rachel had been the most protected.  Rachel and her son, Joseph, had been closest to Jacob; it had always been that way.  Leah thought she should be over it by now, and in many ways she was.  She continually buried the resentment and the hurt, ignoring the looks of love and kindness bestowed upon her sister by their husband. 

She had approached today with great fear, because she understood, at least in a small way, how Esau felt.  She knew how resentment and hatred could build within a person’s heart, and she feared that would be what had happened over the years to Esau.  She was certain he would meet them with violence, finally having found an outlet for the revenge he must have greatly desired.  She, of all people, understood how the hatred could have built into a desire to kill his brother, or to at least steal from him all that he acquired while they had been apart.

Tomorrow, Part II (Click hyperink for next part of story)

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