Saturday, 28 February 2015

The woman Behind the Veil (PT 3)

On this day, She was restless and she knew why. She had heard Judah was on his way to Timnah to shear sheep. The time of shearing sheep was a festive one where neighbors gathered amongst friends to celebrate. It had been several years since she had left her father-in-law's house. He had given her the promise that she will be redeemed at a later date by his youngest son Shelah. That hope; for her had since evaporated. Any hope of being married to Shelah was totally gone now. The young man was off age and had been for sometime now. However Judah seemed to have forgotten completely about her. It was obvious Judah blamed the loss of his two sons on her. But she didn't blame him. Who could? She hadn't yet told anyone the intricacies of the matter. Will anyone believe her if she had? Speaking ill of the dead was unheard of and will attract contempt.

But for Tamar what she was struggling to grasp with at the moment wasn't that. Rather, why Judah would not release her from his authority and set her free from his family so she could be free to marry another man of her choice. She was in her prime and she wasn't going to let her season pass her by. She had hatched the perfect plan in her mind and she was only waiting for the opportunity to carry it out. It wasn't going to be easy. She knew the full implications of it but then she had her confidence coming from a higher ground.

Her dreams in the past days had been relentless and yet they had all pointed out to one thing. She was a carrier of Redeemers and Kings. She thought at first it was her worries that had produced these dreams but it hadn't been so. The God of the Universe had finally heard her cries for mercy. It was with these revelations in her spirit that she scorned the consequence of her upcoming actions.

She hurriedly dressed up putting away her widow and mourning garments. She put on lovely garments, adorned herself with precious ornaments, poured a lovely fragrance over herself and picked up her veil. She covered her face with it , only revealing her eyes. She lifted up her eyes to the heavens and sent a quick prayer upstairs and she was out the door.

She wasn't going to miss one minute of this divine appointment. She was going to meet her praise(Judah).  

Story as seen in Genesis 38

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The woman Behind the Veil (PT 2)

It had been a couple of days after the incident. It was quiet gloomy but she was keeping herself together amidst the grief. She was in her tent folding up clothes when she heard the scuffle at her door. It was the sound of someone at her doorsteps. She looked up as she heard her name being called out. It was Judah calling. “May I come in?”, he requested.

She signaled him in. She got up from her bed and stood with her head bowed as a sign of respect to the elderly man. He looked a bit uncomfortable as he came in. He appeared to be troubled by something. He went straight to the point as he came towards her

I think you should go back to your father's house Tamar”, Judah spoke. “There isn't much for you to do around here and it will alleviate your grief to be in a different environment. At least if not totally, a fraction of it. Besides ,my youngest son Shelah is not of age yet. I will definitely come for you when he is off age so that he will be given to you for marriage.”, he continued.

So rational and so straight to the point, she thought to herself. There was wisdom to what her father-in-law was saying. A fresh environment would do her great good. She needed to be amongst her own people. And it wasn't like she was going to be missed anyway.
She responded in the affirmative to his request. She would do what he requested.
Early the next morning , Tamar set off with her maid servants to her fathers house. It wasn't much of a journey, though not too long a trip, it was very much welcomed. It was with the hope that she might find rest at her fathers house and be redeemed at a later date.
As seen in Genesis 38

To be Continued....................

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Woman Behind the Veil

Tamar lay still in bed listening to the sounds of chirping birds on the nearby trees. It wasn’t evening yet and the day seemed to move by quite slowly for her. She had been called in by her husband Onan. She had left her chores midway to come please him at his request. But then here she was; lying on bed after the aftermath of their copulation and still felt wary of herself. There was something definitely wrong. This was not what the womenfolks talked about whenever they talked about sex. They always had this look of fulfillment, satisfaction. Call it whatever it may be but definitely not what she was feeling right now. She knew that she was missing out on something.

This was her second marriage. She had been a virgin when she had been given into marriage. Her relationship with her first husband hadn’t been much to talk about. She had barely known him when he passed away. They had had only a few days together. But then as the Jewish custom will have it, She had been given to the next-in-line brother, Onan to continue his heritage. This is because she had no children with her first husband. Here she was having these same thoughts going through her mind and heart. It was a feeling of déjà vu. She signed.

She got up from the bed and rustled through the crumpled clothes on the floor looking for her cover cloth. She found it and covered herself. Silently stepping outside so as not to wake her sleeping husband. She made her way out. The air outside was quiet cool as it hit her. She hadn't noticed the tears that had spilled down her face amidst the thoughts that run through her mind. Quickly, she wiped them away and scurried to continue her chores and help the other women in the house.

She tried to make sense of all that was happening to her but words were not enough to explain them. She was beautiful in every sense of the word and yet she didn't feel womanly enough. Womanhood; the pride and joy of it seemed to elude her. Which woman after being married to two able-bodied men was unable to get pregnant. Yet she also knew it had nothing to do with her. How do you explain the secret matters of the bedroom to another person? It was as if the men had disgust for the thought of her carrying their seed. How do you call a woman into your tent to sleep with her with the sole of purpose of satisfying your need and have no regards to the need of the woman?

To her; a whore was of much better value than her. At least, they had something to show forth for their labor. Something to prove the substance of their trade. At least that was more honorable. But here she was; she had nothing. Absolutely nothing!

A S-C-R-E-A-M broke though her thoughts terrain. Followed by a heart wrenching wail. Her heart skipped a beat as she ran towards the source of the scream. It was coming from Onan's room. She ran towards the room.

She was shaking as she reached it and entered into the tent. What she saw before her confirmed her fears. It had happened again. Onan dead! She broke down and began to sob. “Not again!”, she cried. Wailing, she felt she couldn't take it any longer. Judah, her father-in-law came for her. He took her outside the tent . He took her to the women so she could be consoled.

But no, not this time. No one could console her. Her grief was beyond reason. Her grief was made much worse as the thought of the stigma that was associated with it stared at her in the face. For the second time, a man she was married to dies.

The next few days were quiet a drudgery. Like a forlorn woman, she could barely lift her head. She couldn't move around freely without bumping into someone who beheld her with pity or the other one ; mockery. She preferred to be alone rather than to seek the company of her women folk. The gossip, the stigma, it was just too much.
She would often cry unto the God of her forefathers and yet that was when God decided to remain quiet. Judah as her father-in-law preferred to avoid her - who could blame him. Having lost two sons to the same woman, his grief was also comprehensible.
The father of the tribe Jacob was known as a man with a deep connection with the God of the Universe. A man believed to be blessed by God had no words of comfort for her either. Or to even explain why she has faced this fate.

Based on Genesis 38
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