Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Leave room for mystery
"I know it's hard for you to imagine this early in the game, but some day you may think to yourself (you might even say it out loud), "I'm not sure my husband understands me." You are probably right. He doesn't. He's a man. You're a woman. There are some areas in which ne'er the twain shall meet and we should be glad of that. Although there are times when we are frustrated and infuriated by the inability to fathom the depths of another personality, who can deny the fascination of mystery, of knowing that there are depths we haven't plumbed.
There is a story in the Bible which tells of a man who was able to answer all a woman's questions. The Queen of Sheba went to Jerusalem to test Solomon, the famous king, with hard questions. She went with pomp and splendor--appropriate to so momentous an encounter. We have heard of the wisdom and justice of Solomon, but no mention is made of his longsuffering. This story reveals it, for it is said that the queen 'told him all that was on her mind.' That must have taken a long time. Not many men would want to hear all that was on a woman's mind, but apparently the king listened, for 'Solomon answered all her questions, there was nothing hidden from Solomon which he could not explain to her.'
What a man he must have been to have command of all the answers and the patience to make all the explanations necessary to satisfy a powerful female potentate who had doubtless come with skepticism and perhaps jealousy and scorn. But she was thoroughly convinced. He won her over and she saw his wisdom. She surveyed also the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, the attendance of his servants and their clothes, and his burnt offerings which he offered at the house of the Lord.
When she had seen it all, 'there was no more spirit in her'. The display took all the wind out of the queen's sails. She did manage to pull herself back together sufficiently to commend him and to remind him of God's blessing on him. When she presented him with the gifts she had brought and received gifts from him, there was nothing left for her to do but go home.
Not many men can do what Solomon did. Not many men ought to try. And a woman who sets out to test a man with hard questions should be forewarned that she may end up with no more spirit in her, nothing to do but turn around and go back where she came from. It is probably not only a safer course but much wiser not to tell a man everything that is on your mind, not to press him with hard questions. Leave room for mystery."
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman: Notes to My Daughter on the Meaning of Womanhood.