A Life in One Tweet
I was recently reading 1 Chronicles in the Bible, and I have to believe I’m not the only one who finds reading the genealogical records scattered throughout the Old Testament in particular a bit, well, tedious at times. Yes, I try to remember there is a reason and meaning behind all those names being listed in verse after verse after verse. But there are times when I honestly have to fight through to get through them. Besides which, I’m also sure I mispronounce at least 95% of said names as I don’t know how to speak Hebrew. Yet there I was, reading 1 Chronicles when one of my favourite things popped out at me in chapter seven: a little factoid (they’re so cute and factual!). This particular factoid came in verse 24:
Ephraim’s daughter was Sheerah. She built the towns of Lower Beth-Horon, Upper Beth-Horon, and Uzzen-Sheerah. ~1 Chronicles 7:24 (CEV)
There, almost like an afterthought, in row upon row of the names of mostly fathers and sons is the name of a woman who built three towns. It doesn’t say how Sheerah came to be a city planner, nor is the significance of the towns given. But in a patriarchal society and culture, I can see how a woman building three towns is worthy enough of at least a quick mention.
It’s got me to thinking of how I have this notion that the story being told with my life isn’t really any good unless it’s big, bright, and loud. Because Sheerah’s wasn’t any of those, I think. She is mentioned after a verse explaining how one of her brothers was given a name meaning “misery” and before one listing the names of more brothers to her. She has probably been overlooked by a number of people eager to get past the “begats”. And yet she built three towns.
She didn’t get a whole chapter or a whole book of the Bible dedicated to her story. She got a verse that is shorter than the 140-character allotment for a Tweet (at least in the CEV translation). But her feat has significance, for it has reminded me (and many others, I’m sure, who have seen it before I did) that a story doesn’t have to be the equivalent of a summer blockbuster to have meaning and value.