Sophia recently did it! She got her ears pierced!!!! She was so proud of herself, announcing, “I didn’t even cry!”. Of course, she boasts of the fact, especially since we told her the story of how her own mother cried when she got her ears pierced.
Lisa texted me a picture the moment the deed was done. There are no words to convey how struck by this picture I have been. I have found myself drawn back to look at it multiple times. Just look at that precious face & tell me who would not be drawn back for a second look! But there was more. It was something about having the ears pierced. In looking up the words “ear piercing” in my Bible concordance, I learned about servants…..
Exodus 21 gives directions regarding the possession of servants. In buying a Hebrew servant, the servant could serve no more than six years. He was to be set free in the seventh year. If he came single, he leaves single. If he came married, he leaves with his wife. If the master gave him a wife during the years of service, then only the man is set free. The wife & children remain with the master. At that point, the man could say that he loved his wife & children & did not want to be set free. The master was then instructed, “Then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.” (Exodus 21:6 NIV).
For the love of his family, the man would give up his freedom, have his ear pierced & serve for the rest of his life.
The process probably went something like this: boss and servant went to the tabernacle (later the temple) and swore before the priests (who served as witnesses) while at the same times understanding that they were, far more importantly, swearing before God (who served as the ultimate witness to any oath) that they both wanted to enter into a permanent employment arrangement. Then the boss bore a hole in the servant’s ear, probably in the earlobe, which became a visible sign of permanent commitment to service. This prevented a servant from sneaking away from his boss, relocating elsewhere, and entering into a service contract with someone else. It also provided a permanent reminder to a boss that he had an obligation to employ the servant for life and could not renege on that obligation.
(The New American Commentary, Exodus Volume 2, page 481)
It was a mutual commitment. They both benefited from this arrangement.
For. The. Rest. Of. Their. Lives.
While we surely get our ears pierced for beauty & the joy of wearing earrings, this has so struck me. Deeply.
In Scripture, we read these words spoken by Christ Himself, “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15 NIV84). I have sat and cried, remembering that upon birth, the doctors thought that Sophia had no hearing. I can well remember going with Lisa, in those first weeks of life, to have her hearing tested. We prayed & anointed her little ears with oil before getting out of the car that morning. And so for the past week, I have been praying for Sophia….
“Lord, may she always have ears that will hear. May she not only hear the sounds of nature, of music, of laughter, of voices. May she clearly & always hear YOUR voice speaking to her & directing her life. May she come to know You & accept You as her Lord, her Master, at a very young age. May she follow you FOR LIFE. May she serve you all the days of her life. For that is a servanthood that truly is a mutual commitment. She to You & You to her. There is benefit & blessing in that commitment. May she hear Your voice—louder & clearer—than any other voice. Lord, give her ears that hear. Amen.”
Ear piercing. A permanent reminder.
For. The. Rest. Of. Her. Life.