One of my very dearest friends named her dog Rahab. One day when we were out for a walk, she was telling me the story of how her son thought it was terrible that she named the dog Rahab.
“Why is it terrible?” asked my friend.
“Mom!” He looked at her as if she were dense. “Rahab was a hooker.”
She knew he was talking about Rahab from the Bible. The same Rahab who was a prostitute had also given a safe place to stay to the spies secretly sent by Joshua to scout out the fortified city of Jericho. She risked her life for men she didn’t even know, putting their lives ahead of her own well-being out of loyalty and faithfulness to her God.
“Son,” she had told him, Rahab was a prostitute, yes, but she was a good person.”
While the fact that she was a prostitute remained in the forefront of her son’s memory, her goodness is what remained in my friend’s memory. Though I can’t say that surprised me, because she saw the good in everyone. It was she who taught me that just because someone does something unfavorable, it doesn’t mean that person isn’t redeemable by God’s grace. When I was complaining about something my husband had done–or didn’t do–it was she who said, “Remember what he has done for you and given to you.” And when she felt frustrated with her husband about something, she didn’t get angry. She voiced her thoughts, smiled and said, “But he’s my husband and I love him.”
That friend was brought into my life by a loving God who knew I needed exactly her and her outlook on life. He knew her words and wisdom would guide me long after she moved out of state to far away Tennessee.
The story she told me about her son’s reaction to naming her dog Rahab taught me two important lessons. It’s wise to be careful what we do in life because they may be remembered for years afterward. And the second is, when I see a person, do I choose to see the bad or the good? I hope and pray that I show enough love and grace that the good I do is what will be remembered.