A Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15.21-28)

What would he want of me,
for if I come to ask so big a thing,
what can I bring?

The door was open and I was in.
The pain for my cursed child
and the love my heart had wrapped her in
burst like a dried pod
and I scattered the air with my cries.

At home
I had cried my eyes dry,
flung the word ‘why’
at the walls,
at the dark sky,
but now I could cry
‘Have mercy, Lord’
for here was the man
who made miracles.

I had heard about this man,
heard that his words
could harness a wild storm,
could deliver a child
like my daughter
from the unclean spirit that bound her.

My words found no echo in his soft silence,
just the swash and froth of his followers
slapping around us like
angry waves.

I knelt at his feet,
scenting the perfume of God
and measuring it for my child.

He answered,
‘It is not right
to take the children’s bread
and throw it to the dogs.’

I grabbed at his words
for I saw a place
inside his home
where dogs can come.

‘Yes, Lord,
but I can eat the crumbs.’

Then he healed her.
Because of my faith, he said.
And now I know
that this was what I had to bring,
my hoping, believing, knowing
that he was the worker of God
and I could place his hand
on my suffering.