She was the old Psyche still; a thousand times more her very self than she had been before the Offering. For all that had then but flashed out in a glance or a gesture, all that one meant most when one spoke her name, was now wholly present, not to be gathered up from hints nor in shreds, not some of it in one moment and some in another. Goddess? I had never seen a real woman before.
…Psyche herself was, in a manner, no one. I loved her as I would once have thought it impossible to love, would have died any death for her. And yet, it was not, not now, she that really counted. Or if she counted (and oh, gloriously she did) it was for another’s sake. The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake. And he was coming. The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming. The pillars on the far side of the pool flushed with his approach. I cast down my eyes.
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis.
This woman, however, just will not give up: “Then she came and prostrated before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’” (Matthew 15:25). The scene is becoming embarrassing. Can things get worse? Yes, they can—and do: “But he answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the puppies.’” Oh, my! Is Jesus calling this Gentile a dog? No wonder the gospel of Luke does not relate this story! Then, all of a sudden, the story changes, and it is the woman who changes it. Like Jesus’ mother at Cana, she gets pushy with the Savior: “Yes, Lord,” she responds, “yet even the puppies eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” In the end, of course, “her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28), but the reader may be left with the feeling that the whole transaction was excessively painful and that Jesus, at least for a while, was acting terribly out of character. What should be said about this? Not for a moment do I believe Jesus was insulting this woman. Once again, I take his silence and then his reference to puppies as a rhetorical pretense, very much like his request that the Samaritan woman should summon her husband.
…A friend of mine once compared this lady’s faith to that of Abraham, as he “haggled a price” with God over the fate of Sodom. That is to say, rhetorical considerations provide the key to the conversation between Jesus and this Gentile woman. Perhaps this point is more clearly expressed in Mark’s version of the story, where she is known as “a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth” (Mark 7:26). In Mark’s account, the woman is praised not for her faith but for her “word”—her manner of expression: dia touton ton logon. Jesus admits that this woman has bested him in the conversation! He tells her, in effect, “Ma’am, you certainly have a way with words.” Jesus recognizes the good logic and superior style in which the woman humbly asserts, “Even the puppies under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” The lady is not only persistent; she is also eloquent. And Jesus is . . . well, impressed!
From The Jesus We Missed: The Surprising Truth About the Humanity of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon.
Another standard Anglo-Saxon kenning that echos in the mind is “peace-weaver” for “wife” or “queen.” It connects to many harsh and heavy burdens of Anglo-Saxon queenship. One example from the Gummere translation of Beowulf for The Harvard Classics:
Haughty that house, a hero the king,
high the hall, and Hygd right young,
wise and wary, though winters few
in those fortress walls she had found a home,
Haereth’s daughter. Nor humble her ways,
nor grudged she gifts to the Geatish men,
of precious treasure. Not Thryth’s pride showed she,
folk-queen famed, or that fell deceit.
Was none so daring that durst make bold
(save her lord alone) of the liegemen dear
that lady full in the face to look,
but forged fetters he found his lot,
bonds of death! And brief the respite;
soon as they seized him, his sword-doom was spoken,
and the burnished blade a baleful murder
proclaimed and closed. No queenly way
for woman to practise, though peerless she,
that the weaver-of-peace from warrior dear
by wrath and lying his life should reave!