If you read Joshua 2:1-21, you will experience a story of a woman with a bad reputation, a king, spies, mercy, promises, and a red rope hanging out a window.
Rahab, had faith enough to hide Joshua's spies and keep them safe. She had faith and courage enough to speak with the men to whom she'd shown mercy and ask them to swear to her that they would protect her and her family from harm when they returned to conquer Jericho. She hung the scarlet rope used for the spies' escape in her window to ensure her family's safety. The woman with the bad reputation, the "harlot," is the heroine in this saga.
I find it comforting that again and again in the Bible, the least, the worst, the other, the lesser, are the ones who make a difference in a big way.
As I think about this story in the context of Advent, I think of Mary, a teen, unmarried, having faith enough to listen to and believe the angel and to be "the Lord's Maid, ready to serve." (Luke 1:37MSG) She had the faith and courage to tell her betrothed the truth, hope for his acceptance, but be dedicated to carry out God's will, whatever that turned out to be. How strong she must have been to endure what others must have said about her: unwed and pregnant - the harlot! And delusional, too - visited by an angel! In this story, the pregnant teen turns out to be the mother of God.
Perhaps as we move through Advent, the Christmas season, and beyond, we can strive to see or to assume the good, the God, in people instead of judging. The harlot may just turn out to be the heroine and the teen mom may just change the world.