The Woman Left Back
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid
(January 6, 2020)
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13: 5, King James Version [KJV], The new covenant commended).
Greetings In The Holy Name Of Jesus Yahshuah,
My sisters and brothers, I come to you, during a time when heaviness of heart should rule the day but I say to you in prayer, I am not the woman left back but the woman that stayed back. In so doing, I resolved to consider that after all was said and done perhaps I, too, suffered the indignity of getting left back. The story started in visits with another female sibling to visit yes, another female sibling. We enjoyed our visit but then upon leaving the abode we just enjoyed my sibling whom I traveled with said, Do not visit just go by and leave her back. I could not help but not reply because the foreboding as my mother used to say, quizzed me.
That was the first time, I was introduced to the thoughts of leaving someone back. I honest-to-goodness truly tell you, my feelings were hurt—-hurting for the sister that I was just told to leave back. My heart cried out for her to God, in silence because I knew how important it was for her to receive visits while she stayed out in the countryside, especially during her time of personal hardships, for there will always be feasts and famines in a lifetime of God’s joy. At that time, I, too, enjoyed a rural setting but modernized to the city dweller level of lifestyle which can make all the difference, as you suffer through a personal hardship time and the sister I traveled with was also going through a time of personal hardship but while living in a big metropolitan city. Let us say, suffering with central air conditioning and heat, washers and dryers, electricity, plumbing, multiple home systems to help operate your home, garages and all the sort of usefulness that comes along with lawn service or a riding mower, shopping markets particularly a grocery store nearby, with a good working vehicle, is worth the silver and gold you paid for it, for the suffering hits you daily much harder than you possibly could endure with the hope that God will not give you more than you could bear.
With each one of us, in some measure of personal hardship out of health, I felt the sister I was told to leave back needed us to be sisters and stand in the gap for her for her suffering was by-and-far greater than ours, at that time. Let us say, I did not, do that. My suffering led me to accept that it was probably the best time in my life to change states and also get as close to the countryside as I could for the promise I gave my mother before she passed on when she told me to go to the country. I did not, at the time, she was passing on, see how that was possible—-my career, my home, my children and their schooling, having to rebuild after a hurricane, all those issues happened years before, the visit that told me to leave a sister back.
Eventually, I moved closer to the countryside, further north but I did not change states. I bought a ranch house, in a covenant estate that had grown beyond the one family that used to own all the lands and properties. Now, this was during the time, I first heard in a visit to leave a sister back, mind you the reason for the visit, possibly contributed to the mean-spirited way of cultural practices, which was an undertone that I would soon discover as a common way of talking and not considered mean-spirited at all. Yet, I could feel in my spirit and in my heart that the people my sister was dealing with was too much for her to bear and that hardship spilled over to make her slip into cultural practices [Numbers 11: 14, KJV, “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me”, Moses complaineth of his charge.]. You see, I had fast-forwarded to thinking such talk was cruel when my sister was just briefing me as quickly as she could to the mannerism in culture, in the country.
Maybe, she dreamed I would finally make it to live in the country and she tried to help me, survive the hardships of country-living without all the good-living I was used to, in my rural setting and what I was used to in the city.
Finally, I changed states and I lost three sisters to sickness. Well, I lost both my sisters I visited that day because they were out of health. They were not in health but in sickness and passed on and another sister, also passed on because she, too, was in sickness. Their afflictions were long-term illness and even with healthcare, the illnesses did not let them survive, for the cancer and heart condition from taking medicines, was just too much for them to bear.
Practically speaking, those years were tough, for me; 2003, 2005, and 2008. Now, while living in the country, working hard to get all those big city lifestyle amenities restored to my now country lifestyle, I found myself carpooling to church with a man first-cousin when we passed a woman first-cousin taking her morning constitution walk, to pray at a location she holds dear [1 Corinthians 14: 35, KJV, “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church”]. Well, the man first-cousin, who only attended a few years in school started laughing as we passed her by and left her back. He did not even stop and talk a minute or two and ask her to join-in with us attending church. He just drove by laughing, almost hysterical laughter yet subtly done but it sounded like the laughter just made him happy.
Maybe, I am thinking fast again, that he loved seeing her walking as he drove by and left her back. It did not seem to matter that her walking was the same walking she did every morning—-her morning constitution. My man first-cousin was just happy-go-lucky to have the good fortune of a good-working car and you could hear the joy he felt in his laughter. Well, as the years went by, he did suffer mechanical problems with that car and the door on the passenger side was falling apart but he said his sister bought him another car, so he is probably back laughing and riding as he passes folks by leaving them back as he attends church. Perhaps, this is why a dear friend of mine, who could have had a dream, a Harvard Law School graduate spoke to me as a husband in a leadership tone, before I moved to the ranch house about not socializing with folks who do not have as much to lose as I have.
There are times I do think about getting left back and how neighbors covet, one to another and compete rather than share in the good fortunes while they are in a time of feasting, knowing that life is feast or famine. You truly, are in the hands of God to send you a friend during times of personal hardship because folks especially folks raised-up in the cultural practices of the country will leave you back and laugh at you while you suffer. In THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS [4: 11, KJV] Apostle Paul said, “Now that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Most importantly, in THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS (28: 15, KJV), “And, behold, I am with thee, and I will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”
Accordingly, THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TIMOTHY (6: 6, KJV), Apostle Paul said, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” In THE FOURTH BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED NUMBERS (23: 19-20, KJV), “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” God is still blessing! When you feel in your heart that sisters and brothers, attending church and running errands are indeed, riding by and leaving you back, why not try God, for he said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
In closing, God is a great God! Give him a try! Let him prove himself through you. As it is written in THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE HEBREWS (3: 9, KJV), “When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.” Notwithstanding, in THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS (10: 13, KJV, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [Christians must glee idolatry]).
Christ be with you. God be with you. Walk with God. God bless