Behind every great man… The Wife of Noble Character part 3
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows she has no fear for her household
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed
she is clothed in purple linen
Her husband is respected at the city gate
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land
She makes linen garments and sells them
and supplies merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
She can laugh at the days to come.
Today, the wife of noble character’s multi-tasking continues.
Next up is charity work. Significantly it is hands-on charity work. She has open arms and extended hands – images of welcoming and giving. Even although she burns the candle at both ends to supply her own household, she can see that not everyone is part of such a network – some people’s spinning and weaving does not result in a vineyard. She sees her responsibilities beyond her responsibilities.
Personally, I am not one for physical contact. It’s a challenge. I’d rather donate by internet, to be honest. I’ll perhaps come back to my charity-related foibles in a future post.
I like the next part, about the snow. Doesn’t seem so relevant for the BC context of this piece – but I suppose perhaps snow was a hazard, on occasion. The wife of noble character has planned ahead for every eventuality, no matter how unlikely.
Two winters ago I consideded buying my son some snow boots but baulked at the price. How much do I regret that! So I bought him snow boots for this winter and he’s worn them about twice! Would I rather have had the snow so I could feel smug about having snow boots? No… but I do hope that the all in one snowsuits still fit them all next winter. Then I will perhaps feel like a wife of noble character. A bit.
She is back to the textiles again, producing blankets and throws, and wearing purple. I believe purple was a classy colour. I am glad we have this detail about how she looked. The rest of her I can imagine – with her “strong” arms and her vigorous working.
For the second time in the whole piece, we have mention of the husband. He has a good reputation; he is respected. It sounds as if he is some kind of politician: he “takes his seat among the elders of the land”. I wonder if politicians always had the same unfortunate relationship with reputation as they seem to have now. I wonder if his reputation was a result of his trust in his wife and her productivity and charitable work.
The purple clothes then take a turn and we go metaphorical: “She is clothed with strength and dignity”. Her physical appearance is not the important thing about this woman. When you look at her, her clothes are unimportant – you see how strong and how dignified she is. These words are a wee bit contradictory, somehow. This muscular, vigorous woman – and yet she is dignified – with a bit of class and grace.
Then there is the line I don’t like: “she can laugh at the days to come.” To me she sounds a bit cocky here – she has bought the winter boots in advance; she has spare clothes and snacks for her children in her every-eventuality rucksack (or is that me?). She seems a bit smug here.
Who ever can laugh at the future? Only perhaps she who knows what is coming – and has it covered.
Maybe she has so much faith that she is unfazeable.
Hopefully I will conclude my reflections on the wife of noble character tomorrow or the next day.
I’m hoping I get to post a pic of my 10k medal tomorrow… I could hardly be said to be laughing at the day to come…