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The Nameless Maid Who Made Significant History

Updated on August 7, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent over 20 years empowering young and adult women to pursue positive, productive womanhood.

“The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.”

— George Eliot

Naaman's Maid

She remains nameless, even though she influenced one of the most captivating stories of faith. She may have been too young and naïve to be concerned with personal recognition, but she was not too young to show concern--a trait of individuals with great influence.

She was a maid who shared a suggestion with her mistress. Her idea climbed the protocol ladder until it reached the ultimate authority figure—the king, who decided to act on it. The proposal was effective and resulted in national significance. The story was recorded in a Book with universal appeal, but her name was not mentioned.

Illustrator: Richard Andre
Illustrator: Richard Andre | Source

And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of is leprosy.” (2 Kings 5: 2, 3 NKJV)

In her story, four positive characteristics--control, compassion, stature and faith, among others, stand out for individuals of all ages to imitate. The sum total of their impact is this: we make the most of our lives by spreading our influence for good to benefit others, not by listing our performances for personal identity.

(1) Control

Whether or not anyone cared enough to document the slave girl’s identity, she knew who she was. Her control over her situation put her in control of her master’s.

Taken captive in war, she could have surrendered to self-pity, homesickness and defiance toward those who captured her. Instead, she remained open to the opportunity for service. She did not allow her plight to rob her of her religious conviction. No capture could rob her of the opportunity to maximize her influence.

How different could the outcome have been if she had shut the world out because she was treated unfairly? Her identity was not even a factor in the control she swayed over this situation.

(2) Compassion

Respect, loyalty and dependability are qualities required in people who serve. In fact, workers receive recognition based on these and similar merits. Compassion is not usually a part of the job description. It certainly would not be for one who is forced to serve. Still, the slave maid offered it.

According the Pulpit Commentary, there were varying degrees of leprosy. Namaan’s leprosy might have been in an earlier stage which did not prevent him from performing in the king’s court or on the battlefield, but it could advance to a worse stage in the future. The possibility of the threat to his social acceptance and his career might have put fear on his countenance, and the maid was privy to his dilemma.

Compassion is powered by love, and love cannot help but express itself regardless of how deserving the recipient is or is not.

(3) Stature

How can a slave girl persuade an entire household to follow her suggestion in a matter as serious as the master’s health? Obviously, they sensed that she was honest and dependable. Her moral stature radiated from the inside out.

They were convinced that their interest was her concern; and that Elijah—the prophet in Samaria, could heal Naaman’s leprosy.

Her influence extended far beyond that household. Mackintosh Macakay presents her in Bible Types of Modern Women as a role model for today’s youth, teaching them what faith and love can do, even in the young. He further states:

“I have called her the first girl guide, and I think she was that, for in the first place she was a guide to Naaman, a guide to him to those waters of blessing in which alone he could find healing. And in the second place, she evidently belonged in spirit to that sisterhood who believes in doing a kind action every day.”

For the Children

The captive maid’s conduct...is a strong witness to the power of early home training.

— Ellen White.

(4) Faith

The God of the Israelites was not worshipped in the Syrian household where the young girl was placed. Yet, she maintained her faith in Him. The result was Naaman’s confession: “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.” (2 Kings 5: 15 NKJV).

Her faith is a shining example to all, but especially to those who profess faith as followers of God.

  • Children and youth can learn from her bravery to speak up about what they believe no matter the social or religious status of the listener.
  • Adult helpers (no one should be or feel like a slave) in a household can learn to take genuine interest in the lives of the people they serve. Whatever good they do for others is credited as a deed for God.
  • Everyone can learn that there is always opportunity to grow our influence for good, if we maintain control in our circumstances, rather than allow the circumstances to control us.
  • Finally, she proves that our faith can influence many who will never hear our names.


Summary

Lack of identity does not lessen our worth or our work. Notice that Naaman’s wife is also nameless. Her position as mistress—wife of a rich, powerful man did not raise her significance in this event over the young girl in the position of a slave.

On the other hand, the greater influence was wielded by the young woman in the lesser social status, and that influence overshadowed the identity of everyone in the story.

Influence or Identity? Documenting someone's identity is easy compared with controlling that person's influence.

© 2014 Dora Weithers

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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      God bless you too, MotherofNations. Like you, I love stories of Bible women, and young women are my overall favorite subjects. This little girl attracts my attention.

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 

      4 years ago

      Beautiful and inspirational. I love learning about women in the Bible. Amazing how you were able to take her story and bring it to life for your readers to relate to today. God bless you...

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, thank you for sharing that. Always happy to be encouraging!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I keep this on follow to remind me and lift me up. I thought I should share that with you. Thank you

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Skye, you truly encourage me. May God bless us both, and use us to empower each other as well as others.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 

      4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Ms Dora Sister this is one of your best! Awesome works dear and precous msdora. I truly enjoyed and savored your words and felt the Holy Spirit jump out of the pages. This is an amazing work girl. The Spirit of God works in you dear sister. The maid truly has gifts of the Spirit. I am blessed in reading your fine works. Thank you . Keep going msdora. You will. Phil 4:13. May God continue to shine His favor on you in all your comings and goings. My Love, Skye

      shared and voted!!!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Rasta, thanks for your input. The perspectives are not very different; all great words.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      4 years ago from Jamaica

      What you call influence, I call legacy. Some people call it power. It was what men of renown are made of. Even if some of them are not named.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Denise,your observation is true for many of us. Thank you very much.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We never know how far-reaching our influence will be. This simply woman did what she felt was right, and influenced generations. We, in our own simple ways, never know when we will do the same!

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, bless you too, for your continual support. You encourage me.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      Msdora thank you for the lesson I really do get the messages in your hubs.. bless you

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      4 years ago

      Thank you, MsDora. You always inspire me to. . .

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, Michael. You always summarize the articles so well. A blessed week to you, too.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      4 years ago

      Hello MsDora,

      How those Jewish parents did brought up such a godly child? Yours is very effective message both to the parents and the children. So obvious: influence in this life- the identity " store up yourself treasure in heaven..." - is known to the Lord .

      Voted useful, beautiful and interesting.

      Have a blessed week.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, your comment is very encouraging. Thank you for registering your satisfaction. I appreciate you.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Interesting read, Dora, especially because my background in psychology touches so deeply upon the study of individual, group, and collective identity. I particularly like how you drew out the lessons that children, adults, etc. could learn.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Deborah, the article that I finished with is different from the one I had in mind when I started. I also realized what a great story this was, and I am glad that I shared it. Thank you for your comment.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Psychic, happy to contribute to your hope and joy. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, thank you for stopping by. The more we read these stories, the more we learn. That makes the Bible interesting to read.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Romeos, thank you for your caring remarks and for sharing your valuable insight. I appreciate you!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      4 years ago from Iowa

      Great story and lesson, Ms. Dora. Thanks for sharing it.

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 

      4 years ago

      Loved it thanks. I see so many others here who have picked up on the spirit here too and that fills me with hope and joy. Thanks again Ms Dora and God Bless.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 

      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Well done and well thought out, MsDora. I've read that story several times, but you brought out lessons that I hadn't thought of such as her lack of identity not being as important as her faith. I also noticed the quote from Ellen White. She's awesome.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 

      4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      A good Hub article for teaching the younger women at home; I suppose in retrospect, the fact that her identity isn't disclosed places more focus upon her actions. and history has attached its kudos to a timeless slave girl, who shall always be remembered. Her humility has become the platform for her high elevation.

      Thank you MsDora, and trust you are well and have enjoyed a lovely weekend.

      Kind Regards,

      R.Q.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sheila, you summarized it very well. I like that song, too. Thank you for your input.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 

      4 years ago

      For some reason a line from a song popped into my head after reading this hub. "Little is much if God is in it." I know there are other people like me who often wonder what good we're doing for God and others because, as you said, people don't seem to even know we're there. But this hub is a great reminder that even when people don't know our name, we may have done something (big or small) that had a positive impact.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      WiccanSage, thank you for your encouragement. So glad it makes sense to someone beside me.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, thank you for sharing your insight. I agree. The joy in doing the right thing comes just from doing the right thing.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      4 years ago

      Very interesting hub. Makes a lot of sense, not something I ever really thought about. Nice work.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      They can't be put on an alter in this life and that is another lesson. We can do what is right to be thought highly of or we can just do it because it is the right thing to do. There will be reward I believe bu should never be the reason for a good deed.

      Interesting food for thought as always. ^+

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lifegate, the difference is that we really want to know the heroine maid, so we notice that her name is missing. We seem not to be concerned about the name of her mistress, who is only in a supportive role. You're right. God knows our names and that matters.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, your comment on the title made my day. I was wondering how a reader would feel about not being notified in the title that it was Bible story. Thank you for answering the question I didn't ask.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      DDE, thanks for your participation. Your comment is encouraging.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good Morning MsDora,

      Another well done hub. Thank you.Ii always wondered why God chose to not name the slave girl, and I guess it doesn't matter, but I never thought about her mistress not being named either. God knows their names even if we don't. Thanks again!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A very interesting topic; your title hooked me immediately and then your words ended up being quite wise. A good read and I thank you for it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesomely thought of and so interesting. The lesson learned here is a great on in treating others.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Eric. You're a gem. You know how to make me smile. You make my day with your very kind comments. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, I always treasure your comments and your votes. Yes, Naaman's maid make us think of our duty to serve no matter what.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jodah, thank you for summarizing and voting. I appreciate your participation.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Word, here are so many great stories and lessons in The Book. Thanks for the invitation to do some more.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And Miss Dora walked up to the plate and the whole crowd was watching as the best pitcher in the game wound up and threw his best fast ball at her. And she stood tall and proud in the batter's box and knocked that ball clean out of the stadium, a home run for all to marvel at.

      I just have a hard time taking the me out of me. This story is a great one and you laid it out perfect. Thank you Lord Jesus for Dora!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, MsDora, this is a great hub here on Naaman's Maid. We can all learn a lot from her faith and how to treat others by her example!

      Really well-written and useful. Up and more and sharing.

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good hub MsDora. It is a lesson in compassion and doing the right thing, even towards the undeserving without seeking praise or reward. Voted up.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you MsDora for another wonderful story and lesson that was well taken of the great book. Keep them coming.

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