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Dear Tamar

Read: Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 9:7-10; Psalm 56:8; Job 19:25-26

As much as we love the Lord and cherish His revelations about Himself, there are passages in the Bible that are hard to read. I was reminded of that truth the other day when a friend mentioned Tamar, 2 Samuel 13. Many who know her story feel the same way. It is enough to say here that the cruelty and injustice that she endured from a family member cause me to cringe inside when I once again, read her story. It is not merely the wickedness of Tamar's violation that is painful, it is also the fact that her story never appears to come to a point where we read that Tamar received healing, comfort and justice. Sadly, Tamar's story is not unique to King David's reign in Israel. Countless men and women, as well as children have dealt with unfair circumstances that haven't been resolved here on earth as they should have been. We must admit that and never try to gloss over the pain that each unique "Tamar" has endured.

That being said, my thoughts returned to Tamar. Actually, I had been thinking of her, even prior to my friend's mentioning her sad plight. So, if Tamar were my friend, and I lived during David's reign, what might I have said? I couldn't have swept away the wrongs she endured, but could I comfort her with my words? With that goal in mind, I offer this. It is not meant to minimize anyone's pain, but rather to acknowledge it and perhaps, sooth it just a bit.

Dear Tamar,

It has been several weeks since I heard of Amnon's cruel attack on you. I was shocked and broken hearted when I heard. Tamar, I am so sad that your father did not protect you from being alone with Amnon. Maybe he was simply too busy to understand what was likely to happen. I don't know. Maybe he didn't think Amnon had any wicked motives, but you weren't protected by your father. You must have been so frightened when Amnon sent the servants all out of the room. I'm so sorry no one came to your rescue when you called out.

Tamar, when your half-brother had you thrown out, after his wicked actions, I can only imagine the devastation and loneliness you felt. If I could have held you as you stood with the ashes of mourning on your head, I would have. I know you are now staying in Absalom's house, waiting to see what your father might do to bring about justice for you. I'm so sorry that you no longer live with the other women in the harem who wait to be married. It was not how life was supposed to go for you, the princess, whose mother is the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur.

Tamar, I love God, but I don't understand why He allowed this in your life. Even so, I want to share a few things I love about Him that I hope will sustain you during these days that are so very different than you had imagined. Tamar, God sees your tears. Perhaps some people whom you hoped would comfort you haven't done so. However, you might remember that God told Moses that He had seen His people's tears and heard their cries. I love knowing that the One Who created the world sees my tears and yours too.

Tamar, God sees who you are. Do you remember how he met Hagar and knew everything she was experiencing? She never had to tell Him, and she called Him the Living One Who saw her. I love being known by the One Who made everything. Tamar, even though we don't know why God didn't stop Amnon from hurting you, He hates wickedness and made provision for its punishment in our law. I love it that God wants justice to be done on earth; so, He gave us just laws. What you are enduring is not what God desired for His people.

Oh Tamar, there is one other thing about God I'd like to share. This life, with all of its unfairness, is not all there is. Do you remember what Job said in the midst of the circumstances that didn't make sense to him? He said that His Redeemer was alive! Job knew He would be raised from death and that he would be with God. We know that righteousness and justice are the foundations of God's throne, and though I wish we could see more of those things now, surely God will pour them out when we live with Him on the earth.

Tamar, I hope to come to be with you soon so we can both weep and rejoice together. Write to me if you would like to. Know that you are loved.

Your Friend,

Patty

Sometimes, we can be the hands, feet, lips or ears of Jesus when we encounter hurting people. Although we can't undo wrongs that have been done, with God's enabling, we each can make a difference by being agents of God's comfort and help. As we do whatever the Lord gives us to do, may people know there is a God Who sees their tears, knows them intimately, never desired that they endure injustice and pain and Who has made it possible for us to live with Him forever, John 3:16.

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