Anah is the first ‘daughter of Jerusalem’ we encounter in Walk In Her Sandals. She is a young married Jewish woman, praying fervently for a child. In Anah’s time and culture, children were seen as it was a sign of God’s favor and childlessness a sign that you had displeased God—or even a punishment for sin. Children were so important to a marriage that a Jewish man was permitted to divorce his wife if she proved barren. Although Anah’s husband, Ephraim, loved her and hadn’t spoken of divorce, Anah is heartbroken that she has not been blessed with a child.
Her mother, Miriam, is a follower of Jesus along with her younger brother James. As we meet Anah, she is preparing for the upcoming Passover feast and hears that Jesus is entering the city. She rushes to the gate to find her mother and brother, hoping to protect them from the danger and scandal that comes with Jesus.
Anah encounters Jesus on Palm Sunday: excerpt from Walk In Her Sandals, Chapter 1
Her heart pounded, and her mouth dried with the dust stirred by the crowd. Please, let them not all be here to see Jesus. If only he’d slipped into the city quietly, unnoticed. It would have been so much safer, for everyone.
Beside her, a man lifted a small boy to his shoulders. The boy pointed, “He’s coming!”
Anah dodged elbows and stepped on feet as she pushed her way to the front. She must find her mother now, or it would be too late. Suddenly, she emerged at the gate and her mouth fell open in disbelief. Jesus. But not walking into Jerusalem as a poor traveler from the country. No, he rode in on a white colt. Following him and surrounding him were pilgrims—hundreds of them. They shouted and sang, waving palm branches in the air. Some took off their cloaks and threw them down in front of Jesus.
What was he thinking? The chief priests were looking for him, and he marched into the city as if he were the new David, returning to his claim his kingdom!
The pilgrims shouted as they passed by, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
All around her, questions flew like sharp stones. “Who does he think he is?”
“Who declared this man king?”
A shiver of fear skimmed over Anah. Everyone knew the prophet’s words: “Do not be afraid, daughter Zion, see your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” These pilgrims thought they were seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Anah’s prayer: Anah did her best to be faithful. She took care of her husband—and everyone else in her household. She was a good wife, a good daughter-in-law, but not a mother. . . . When would the Lord hear her prayers? When would her life have purpose?
How long, O Lord, will I wait for your answer?”
Do you ever share in Anah’s prayer? How have your prayers been answered? Tell us in the comments below.
Encounter Jesus more fully this Lent and follow Anah’s story in Walk In Her Sandals, Experiencing Christ’s Passion Through The Eyes of Women
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If you enjoy the fiction portion of Walk In Her Sandals, you might like my other books about women of the Bible transformed by their encounters with Jesus:
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