Bitter Women Utter Honest Prayers

Noami Naomi

Naomi tasted the bitter irony of her name. Her parents had given her a name meaning “pleasantness,” tempting the God of reversals to do his thing.  And he did.  Unlike the patriarch of her people, who was enriched when he left Israel during a famine, Naomi became impoverished. She who bore the name Pleasant bore first her husband, then her son, then her second and last son to the graveyard. So when she returns from her exile, widowed and bereft of her children, she laments to her former neighbors, “Do not call me Pleasant; call me Bitter, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”

Christianity can easily be twisted into spiritualized etiquette. You learn how properly to eat at the Lord’s table, how respectfully to address him, how politely to carry on a conversation with him. If you don’t like what he serves, well, tough, clean your…

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