At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!” Matthew 14:8 NLT
She was a young enchanting girl child blossoming into the fullness of adulthood.
She was young and free exploring the intricacies and ways of the world around her.
She loved to dance and show off the unique and astonishing dimensions of the human body.
She was daddy’s girl and had the keys to unlocking his heart and getting whatever she wanted.
It was her birthday and daddy said to her, ‘Ask whatever you want today and it shall be yours’.
She was elated and ran to share the good news with her mother.
Her mother smiled at her with a nasty look on her face, remembering that she had scores to settle with someone. And then with a fierce look on her face, she told her daughter,
‘ Tell daddy that you want the head of that preacher on a tray’. Let him give you the head of John the Baptist.
She walked away unmoved by her mother’s words. She went on to thrill her father and his guests with her best performance ever.
And then she walked up to her father to make her request.
Her father’s mouth is thrown wide open in disbelief. He knows the silent influence behind his daughter’s request. ‘Oh, such influence a mother has over her child’, he muttered between slightly open lips.
But a King’s honor was in his words. He orders the execution of the preacher, John the Baptist, and has head delivered to his daughter on a platter, just as she requested.
But then I wonder, how come she never flinched at her mother’s choice of a birthday gift?
How come she did not shudder at the evil choice her mother made?
How come she was so comfortable with the thought of murder in her heart?
How come she had no remorse after being handed her request?
Perhaps the answers maybe found in the cradle years and growing up years where education commences at the mother’s knees.
Maybe it is in the words she heard and the conversations she was immersed in at home with those entrusted to shape her life and destiny.
Or was it is in those tender years where she saw and watched her mother closely, learning the ways and details of life and living.
Perhaps it might have been in the seeds of anger, bitterness and hatred that were planted in her tender heart, as she watched her mother show deep envy and swear endlessly.
I may not have the answers as to how a young woman will choose to celebrate a very important day in her life by aiding the death of another human.
And I may never know. But one thing I know is that her mother influenced her choices greatly.
So if I may ask you today as a mother,
How are you influencing your child today?
” In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” ―N.K. Jemisin
N.B Though I referred to mothers in the article, it also refers to fathers, guardians and care-givers.