Trying to think about life and how God makes it full

The Power of Little People: 2 Kings 5:1-14

This story is about Naaman the leper. As I read this story, the points that come out for me include:

  • its the little people who speak to the powerful people that brings wholeness;
  • Naaman’s wife’s maid told him about the prophet;
  • the prophet told the King of Israel what to do;
  • the prophet’s servant told Naaman to wash in the Jordan;
  • Naaman’s servants spoke wise counsel to him.

In the story, the powerful people were really the weak ones:

  • Naaman, a powerful man, couldn’t heal himself;
  • the King of Israel didn’t know what to do;
  • Naaman expected Elisha to treat him according to his status (as a powerful man).

I kept thinking about the Garden Cafe in Custom House and how its run by little people who are weak in the eyes of the world’s powerful people. When I visited there last night for a dinner they put on to welcome the New Year, I sat next to a local young woman who has worked her way into becoming one of the most effective community development workers in that area. Recently, she gave a talk in the Cafe about what makes effective community work, and in doing so, shamed the so-called regeneration ‘professionals’ who had arranged the meeting and had themselves failed to get local people to attend after spurning the advice of local community workers. Her straightforward prophetic critique of the ‘professionals’ and their lack of local understanding got under their skin so that they went away feeling the same kind of chastening frustration elicited by Naaman.

Its the power of the little people in Custom House, not the suited professionals, who are changing the culture from the inside out through creating a powerful sense of community in little places like the Garden Cafe. Its a place of cleansing waters and healing.


January 2, 2007 - Posted by | culture, religion, wisdom


  1. I think this was a marvellous bit of self expression.
    I would like to write at great length about how much I agree with you.
    However, I have been writing comments at great length today on your previous three postings. and I now have other much less exciting tasks I feel I have to do, so I will now sign off for a few days-weeks-months.
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have an enjoyable two hours

    LIVE – Feel Connected (sometimes) – Be Joyful (sometimes)

    Comment by Lawrence Woods | January 4, 2007 | Reply

  2. lawrence, as always its a pleasure to read you.
    thanks for your comments, and genuinely interesting thoughts on the other posts.
    very glad to have been a source of joy to you brother.
    until next time….

    Comment by revtc | January 4, 2007 | Reply

  3. I liked what you said about the power of the little people, who are changing the culture from the inside out by creating a powerful sense of community. I am sure you would agree with me that, of course, there are no “little people”. Each human being is a unique individual, with a tremendous potential to “make a difference” – although the difference they make never makes the headlines in the national or local news.

    “A man has a friendly chat with his next door neighbour in Walthamstow”
    Although this headline might in fact be describing a fairly unique event, and therefore by definition newsworthy, we appear to be more attracted by the horror stories in the Walthamstow Guardian – e.g. “Curate breaks heel while chasing Robber” is a better story than “Curate pursues a lost sheep”

    But, of course, ordinary people do feel they are powerless. However, the Christians of Walthamstow had a wonderful opportunity to “make a difference” at Christmas this year. I wonder what the big talking point was between Christians during the Christmas season?

    LIVE – Feel Connected (sometimes) – Be Joyful (sometimes)

    Comment by Lawrence Woods | January 7, 2007 | Reply

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