Pentecost +22

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the book Honey Badger Don’t Care. “Honey Badger Don’t Care is a 2011 non-fiction book by (the one-named superstar) Randall that focuses on comedic descriptions of several animals. The book is based on the YouTube viral video The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger. In addition to the honey badger, the book also includes chapters on the aye-aye, the Tasmanian devil, the Emperor tamarin, the pink fairy armadillo, the tarsier, the opossum, the solenodon, the wombat, the American bullfrog, and the sloth.”1

Honey Badger Don’t Care exists because they are “notorious for their strength, ferocity and toughness. They have been known to savagely and fearlessly attack almost any kind of animal when escape is impossible, reportedly even repelling much larger predators such as lions. Bee stings, porcupine quills, and animal bites rarely penetrate their skin. If horses, cattle, or Cape buffalos intrude upon a (honey badger’s) burrow, it will attack them. They are virtually tireless in combat and can wear out much larger animals in physical confrontations. The aversion of most predators toward hunting honey badgers has led to the theory that the countershaded coats of cheetah kittens evolved in imitation of the honey badger’s colouration to ward off predators.”2

That’s pretty tough, tough enough maybe, to just maybe, take on the widow in the parable of the Unjust Judge. “Widows had a difficult place in Palestine — around the world, in fact. Normally, the wife of a deceased husband had no legal right to inherit her husband’s estate, so when her husband died she couldn’t take for granted living in his house on his land. If her deceased husband had no children, the estate reverted to her husband’s male relatives on his father’s side — his brothers, his father’s brothers, and then the nearest family kinsman. If she had grown children things would be easier; they would take care of Mom. But a widow with small children might just as well have to contend for property rights with her in-laws, and if they didn’t happen to like her, things could be difficult. In some cases, she might manage the estate to be inherited by her young children as a trustee, but that was by no means a sure thing.

“We don’t know how the widow was being cheated, but her judge was on her opponent’s side. She didn’t have money for lawyers. She was probably holding on by a hair. But there is one thing we know about her — she was persistent.

The phrase “keeps bothering” translates two Greek words. Parecho, “to cause to happen or be brought about, cause, make happen,” is in the present tense, which here indicates continued action in the present. The second word is Greek kopos, “a state of discomfort or distress, trouble, difficulty,” originally “a beating”.”3

This honey badger of a woman needed to take care of her family, and so she didn’t care what that made her look like and she certainly didn’t care what that made anyone else look like. Jesus tells us today that when Christians pray, we are supposed to emulate that widow; we are supposed to set aside our usual need to not look like we’re a little unhinged, to be polite and not bother anyone (certainly not God); we are supposed to remember that God can take our badgering, and not only that, but He’s almost looking to be badgered. Jesus tells us today that we are supposed to remember that while God has His merciful reasons for how and when He answers our prayers, we do well to keep at Him, to be tireless in spiritual combat, to be prayer honey badgers. That way, when Christ does come back to us, He will find faith on earth, faith with bite.

1Wikipedia, Honey Badger Don’t Care
2Wikipedia, Honey Badger
3Jesus Walk

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