03 November 2013

Rachel: Hand-me-down

Genesis 29-30

My first doll
was a hand-me-down doll,
with marks from where Leah
once dropped it in the mud.
My clothes were hand-me-downs,
some a bit ripped
from when she climbed up the tree
or got caught in the fence.
Some were too big,
loose in places -
but that's the fate
of the little sister.

But then I met Jacob
and he was not hand-me-down,
he was my own,
had never gone through her hands.
His kisses were mine
and not second-hand,
his love was for me -
and for the first time
something was mine alone.

But it's the fate
of the little sister
to always come second
and take what is left.
Once again I am living
a hand-me-down life,
with a hand-me-down husband
always second in line.

It's not the same anymore
tasting hand-me-down kisses,
for they taste like her.
And when he's holding my hand
I can feel her fingerprints.
Just like my clothes
carry marks of her wearing,
so now my husband
feels second-hand.

Can nothing be mine,
my very own?
Must I always share
and take what she's owned?
You say that I'm jealous
but don't I have a right
for once in my life
to have something for me?


I'll admit that when I read about Rachel and Leah's spats, Rachel always comes across to me as the jealous spoiled brat. I do like Leah more and I'm happy for her that even though Jacob didn't love her, she could find comfort in her children.

But when I decided to write about Rachel suddenly the word "hand-me-down" came into my mind and I noticed: being the little sister must have meant that she often got things which used to be her sister's. And when it came to Jacob's wedding, wasn't the reason Laban gave for the switch that it's the older one's turn first? I'm a big sister so I can't pretend to know what it's like being the little one in her sister's shadow. Rachel can't really have been in much of a shadow since she is said to be the prettier one, but still - it must have been annoying to always come second. And don't we hope that at least in marriage things will change a bit? Imagine having to live with your sister forever... and sharing a husband. Yeurgh.

I can understand why Rachel was jealous. But still, I don't think jealousy is the best option. Rachel was not satisfied with the way things were. Life sometimes is a lot less than satisfactory. But we can find all we need in God and he can be our satisfaction.

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