So there was once a chick named Tamar who married a dude named Er, the son of a patriarch. Shortly after their wedding, Er died. He just died, like no sickness or accident, just keeled over and went out. Tamar almost rolled over with the pain of losing her husband, but unfortunately, she did not have too long to mourn cos, you know, the traditional requirements that the widow has to marry the brother of the diseased. So off she went and became a wife again. Well, what do you know, this one too keeled over and died. And yep, you guessed it, no sickness, no accidents, nada. He also just went out. If it was you, what would you think? This chick must be eating up these dudes right. And so the patriarch thought too. And since he was not ready to lose any more sons, he simply told this unfortunate babe to go to her parents house and stay there till the third son was old enough to marry her…of course he had no intentions of giving her his remaining son before she eats his heart too.
She went back to her parents’ house, two times a widow, no child to show and neck-deep in the pain of her losses. The loss of love, loss of her place, she knows what she must look like in the community, the woman that kills husbands. No one wants her around their men, if she is not eating their hearts (..or brains..) she must have something inside her that is doing the eating. Either way, no one is willing to take any more risks. She became the reject, the outcast and really, I don’t think anyone bothered to ask her side of the story. Or to even ask how she is holding up dealing with her losses. Well, she silently bore the torture and disgrace, never complained and definitely didn’t fight anyone. Just suffered in silence. And she stayed that way for years. Until she was vindicated. Oh, by the way, God was killing these dudes cos they were naughty.
“And Judah recognized them immediately and said, ‘She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah’. Gen 38:26
I was struck about the suffer-in-silence attitude of Tamar, she was the one who lost husbands, why was she the one getting the heat right? And this is the story of a lot of women. Doing all the right things, caring in all the right ways, making all the sacrifices, yet for what? Husband and wife agree to spend his own money building their house and her money for rent, school fees and other needs till the house is completed. Only to finish the house and the husband claiming the wife has no rights to the house, after all, it was built with his money. How many women today can suffer in silence through that? But really, isn’t this the same scenario with Jesus? He came to the world that was created through Him, healed sick people, made poor people rich, fed a bunch of hungry people, loved the unloved people and for all His troubles and effort, He was beaten up and murdered. Yet, He still loved the same culprits and forgave completely. I read once about The Holy Shroud of Turin which is believed to be the cloth in which Jesus was buried in, has an impression of His face on it. The beauty and serenity of the face captured in the cloth is an unbelievable expression of human pain and goodness that transcends time, explanation or understanding.
Of course, for us humans, that level of suffering in silence is not acceptable. What with this age of human rights and high speed knowledge. But I realized from the story of this babe Tamar, being silent in the face of suffering and cheating, being able to forgive despite torture, is what humanity is all about. This is not about right or wrong now, it is simply what humanity is in its stark reality, it’s beauty and ugliness, its glory and degradation. Tamar could have spoken up, said she didn’t kill these men, Jesus could have called the angels in their millions to defend Him…but then the reward of their leaving their fight to God would have been lost. Oh Tamar was rewarded alright, in unbelievable ways, one of which is that she produced the lineage of King David. And of course, she is one of the few women of that time that is known today.
Basically, you are not a fool when you forgive despite all the pain and injustice, that is just you being true to humanity. Which is what makes the wheels on this bus go round and round. Almost everyone has had a taste of torture in this world, you only need to hear the story of the person next door. Beneath all our glam clothes, make up and power suits, lies a lorryload of pain. And I sincerely hope that no matter what injustice has been done to you or what undeserved torture you’ve had to endure, that you find that humanity within yourself to forgive and let go. And therein lies your peace.