Naomi’s Future Possibilities, by Paula Rose Michelson

A Jewish Custom

On Erv’ Shabbat (Friday night), Jews throughout the world light the Shabbat (Sabbath) candles. Then it is customary for the Papa to bestow a blessing upon each child. The unique blessing prayed for each child during this time has two distinct parts: that the child being lovingly nurtured becomes a blessing, and that this blessing honors Adonai, and their family.

It seems that Naomi’s family did not practice this tradition, for if they had she might have chosen home and hearth rather than the unknown. Perhaps the same is true for you, or maybe, the opposite placed so many expectations upon you that you had to escape!

The good news is that no matter what occurred before this moment. Right now you can choose to own your choices and the consequence inherent within them.

The Text

                Naomi struggled with the awareness that there was more to her agreement than Tía had told her. Nevertheless, she steeled herself and refused to show these men any sign of concern. She smiled and silently prayed, God, if it is your will that I remain here indefinitely, then give me your shalom—your peace. She forced herself to smile at Tía and stood to usher the men out. At that moment, she sensed a whisper in her heart that said, When you were on the patio, you surrendered your life to this.
                As the unlikely trio left the old lady’s room, Naomi said, “You have both shown my tía a great kindness today.”
                Mr. Martinez smiled. “The pleasure was mine.” He took hold of her hand and tried to press it to his lips.
                The priest watched as the attorney’s attempt at flattery elicited little response from the young woman. “I think it is time to go. I fear we have overstayed our welcome.” He took Naomi’s hand in his and looked purposefully into her eyes. “I will come whenever you need me.”
                “Thank you both.” She walked them to the door. Once they were gone and the door firmly closed behind them, she exclaimed, “I refuse to spend my time with those hypocrites!” She brushed her hands against her skirt as if ridding herself of filth, patted her hair into place, and returned to Tía’s room.

                As the two men walked away from the casa, Mr. Martinez stopped and took his time lighting his pipe. “Strange that such a little mouse should have the entire estate,” he said at last. “She has no connection to our dear friend. Perhaps we should try to have La Señora’s will overthrown. The girl must have taken advantage of her for this situation to come about.”
                The priest readily agreed and they began to discuss how they might correct La Señora’s error in judgment.
                “Look,” the lawyer finally said, “it is not good for the little mouse to have such a great inheritance without someone to protect her.”
                “That is true, but what can we do? We do not know the child. Since we never paid attention to her before, why would she listen to us now?”
                “Undoubtedly she will not, but she will pay attention to her heart. Let us be a blessing to the little mouse and find someone who will marry her. In this way we can be sure she is protected and not led astray by a world she knows nothing about.”
                “I think that would be best. Having her safely settled would help me sleep better at night!” These words confirmed the priest’s approval. Since they both agreed that the work of the Tía’s must continue, all they had to do was find the right man and their problem would be resolved.

                Naomi viewed her future as one suddenly filled with possibilities. Tía prodded her to call the school and find out where and when she could attend citizenship classes. Naomi got the information and arranged with one of Tía’s married niñas to come in for three hours twice a week. She told her benefactor about the arrangements and was shocked when the old woman railed at her. She ran from her room crying so hard that she did not hear Tía’s apology.
                Later that day, Naomi checked on her tía and found her fast asleep. She slept through that day and most of the next. Naomi feared the old woman would not awaken this side of the grave. It was twilight when she picked up the phone to call the doctor. Before she had begun to dial, she heard the faint tinkle of the bell. Glad that she had put it on Tía’s nightstand, she rushed to the old woman’s room. Aware that her nerves were frazzled, she paused to collect herself, then opened the door. Tía is
now my American madre and I will treat her as such, she reminded herself. “Madre Vida.” She smiled as the term of endearment escaped her lips. She believed her greeting was appropriate since she was the only daughter the old woman would ever have. “Please forgive me for upsetting you.”
                “No, mi hija … my daughter, you have done nothing which needs forgiveness.” She patted her bed, silently inviting Naomi to sit next to her. “You did not yet know all that I need you to do for me. I did not turn things over to you so you would stay here and watch me. I need you to make sure that my business continues. Now that I am refreshed, I will tell you that you are to be as me at immigration and help the little niñas as I helped you. All the information you need is in my desk. Mr. Martinez will draw up the paperwork for you when you need it. In addition, there is the market, which you must manage. Many who work there depend on these jobs. I need to know that you will make certain they will have work, not only for themselves but also for their children if they need it. Comprendes, mi hija?”

Authors Summation

Liberty, independence, freedom; each word must sound hollow to Naomi for having assumed she could leave at some future date, now she discovers that she is bound for life! Trapped between her desire for religious freedom and doing all her tía needs, Naomi must decide how to be true to her beliefs while continuing to hide who she is to accomplish what is required. Now more than her fate rests in her hands for Tía has made her responsible for more than…

As I wrote, edited, and reedited Casa de Naomi, I found myself wondering how I would handle the situations Naomi must. Time and again, I found that the only solace I know, that which sustains me though I do not know it till trails pass, is Scripture. So today, I ask you to think about the places and situations where you feel trapped, and then turn your thought to, Yeshua - the lover of you soul as you mediate upon the reflective Scripture I have posted below.


Psalm 121:1-4 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

I pray a blessing upon you, and hope that you experience His Shalom no matter what befalls you.