The Proverbial Woman: Diligent in Prayer

Proverbs 31:13  She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight.

This verse is represented by the Hebrew letter dalet (dah-let), which is portrayed by the symbol of a closed tent door.  As a door, it suggests a choice to open ourselves spiritually to hope or to be closed off.

The words in this verse which begin with the letter dalet is darash, "she looks". Darash means to seek, to look for, to request, to resort to,  to frequent a place, to inquire, to ask, to consult God in prayer and worship, to practice and study, to seek with diligence.

The talit or prayer shawl is considered a prayer 'tent' or closet and because this letter dalet is pictorially a 'closed tent door',  I would hazard that this Proverbial Woman goes before God in prayer and worship and meditation. She would have done so with a prayer shawl draped over her head and shoulders, pulled closed in front of her face so that she would be enveloped in a private 'tent' of her own in which to commune with God.  I think this prayer shawl also symbolizes the need for a one on one, personal relationship with God.  I love how the definition of darash includes the words 'to seek with diligence'.  To do something with diligence speaks volumes.  If you are diligent you aren't showing up occasionally or by accident.  You are putting forth real effort and sacrificing time that you might spend elsewhere.  You are giving up something in order to purse God.  I love that!

Anabelle pointed out in one of her posts that the Proverbial Woman was a creative woman.  In Jewish culture, creativity is seen as the ultimate reflection of a heart's desire to be more like God, who Himself is the Creator.  I think this seems to be true in this verse.  Wool and flax most likely would have been used in embroidery work.  Could she have asked God to provide the material to work with?  Why not?  Haven't I expressed a physical need for material at times when I'm in prayer?  I can't name the number of times I've had them turn up in wonderful ways, too!

And if I'm using my imagination here, I'll go a little step further.  A closed tent door would preclude inviting anyone in...An open tent door is an invitation to enter.  Did the Proverbial Woman teach herself to embroider or did she learn from another woman?  Did she open her door to a neighbor or another woman in her village, did she open her door to a sense of being part of the community through that action? 

The verse finishes up "and works with her hands in delight."   Other interpretations say "She works willingly with her hands" but I like the vision of her taking delight in her work. How often have I myself stood up and looked at the sewing I've just finished or stepped back to admire a freshly painted chair?  I've 'taken delight' in the work of my hands at those times, for sure!  There is a vast satisfaction in creating something pretty and lovely to grace one's person or home or to give as a gift to another, isn't there? But I think as well she works with delight because this skill was a gift, a blessing given to her.

And so we end another verse, leaving our Proverbial Woman smiling as she works away creating beauty.


Lana said...

Thank you again for this study. I am enjoying the letters especially.

How many times a day do prayer requests cross my path? Many times a day through social media and newsletters from missionaries, etc. I find it best to pray right then or I will get busy and not remember so now I pray right away when the request comes. This has really changed my prayer life since I now pray throughout the day. It is one blessing of being home alone most days and not having distractions of children here now.

When my 33 year old daughter was 2 I made her a beautiful black and white tweed wool coat with black velvet trim. It is fully lined and took many, many hours to complete. Imagine my delight when my 2 year old granddaughter came to visit yesterday wearing that coat. I have quilts and crocheted doilies made by me great grandmothers and my grandmother made dolls that looked like me when I was a baby and toddler. She also embroidered tablecloths that I now have. I have those things made by their hands and feel their love every time I see all the hours of work they put into them.

Kathy said...

What a lovely post! Thank you!
When I declutter and clean, I take pleasure in making things look nicer. Not exactly creating beauty but it calms my spirit.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

THank you so much for this post. I really am enjoying them. Enjoying the work God gave us to do.. Is so full filling. I too, look at the work I have accomplished in my home and find such joy.
How is your flooring coming along/ Can't wait to see it.. Know you are so very happy.

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