But she answered, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
This week I heard Kerwin Du Bois’ soca song “Right for Somebody” for the first time. The song begins, “I may not be right for you but I right for somebody,” which is a good paraphrase for the verse above. It’s spoken by an unnamed Syro-Phonecian woman (read: immigrant/outsider). She asks Jesus to heal her daughter and Jesus says, “The children have to be fed first. It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” (Which just goes to show even God Incarnate struggled to dismantle the deeply embedded racism of his culture.) The woman responds with, “I may not be right for you, but I right for somebody.” You may not love me, but you must know that I am loved. Jesus has to acknowledge that she is, and heals her daughter. The assertion of worthiness is an act of resilience. It is the insistence that even if you have been denied the presence of God or the miraculous, you are still deserving of God’s presence. Because you are made in the image of God, you are marked unalterably worthy.
Takeaway: Set aside 4 minutes and 33 seconds today to spend with Kirwin Du Bois’ “Right for Somebody” (don’t worry, there’s no cuss words). Do not listen to it. Dance to it, as enthusiastically and unjudgingly as you are able. Know that whatever else is going on in your body, your body is worthy. If today you have an interaction where someone tries to exclude you from the table, remind them “I may not be right for you but I right for somebody.”
Gathering the Stones is providing 40 days of reflecting on resilience during Lent. Check back for new reflections every day (except Sundays).