Reflecting on I Sm. 26: 2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
Am I the only one who really, really resonates with that scene with David and King Saul? It’s delicious in its irony. Here is poor David, hounded all l over the Judean desert by the jealous King.
He and his attendant sneak into Saul’s camp. They find Saul and his sword. This is it! The Lord has clearly placed Saul in David’s hands! It will be just like the child David’s encounter with Goliath years before! Cut off his head and chase his army out of town!
But David walks away from that immense temptation. He leaves the king to his sleep. Walking over to a hilltop and holding the sword aloft, he makes his presence known. Shouting to the sleeping troops, he lets them know how easily he could have slain Saul. But he walks away instead.
How many times has someone offered up to you the most delicious gossip about someone who has been unkind to you, or who has hurt your feelings in some way? Here is the perfect way to settle the score. Let them know what you know. Even better, find casual ways to let others know what you know. But then, in a moment of grace, you don’t. You walk away, and you never think about it again.
Or maybe Saul’s experience hits closer to home. How many times have you, in retrospect, discovered that some graced friend has held back on much-deserved criticism of you, when speaking would have been to their advantage? They gracefully kept silent. There is no way to repay such stunning love. But, like Saul, we can stand in wonder at its unmerited kindness. And we can go and do the same.
Looking back, of which moments of keeping silent are you the most proud?
Kathy McGovern ©2022