Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daydreaming Captivity in a Foreign Land

I've been thinking about how people of faith blend-into the landscape of our nation. We can imagine no better kingdom than the one we are building with our stuff. How we clamor about our superior faith, but live much the same as others. In a lazy moment, I drifted into a Sunday School story memory. I can see the flannel-graph.

We’re passing away the years in Egypt. The family is getting big, and most are getting complacent. Promised Land is nicer, yet ignored. We don’t really think about it anymore.

We’re just working away in the desert—poking hard soil with inferior tools. We’re making bricks to build another king’s kingdom—with lousy material. We’re passing away the years--the lives of our parents and grandparents and so on. And now our own, and those of our children.

They know we are different, that we don’t belong here. They fear us and abuse us to keep us humble. Maybe it’s the last straw…killing baby boys. They say we have too many people, and might fight against them if enemies would arrive. What is a nation to do? How could we ever change things? We are the bricks, without straw.

Mamma had a baby boy. Says she can’t stand to see him killed. He’s too fine, handsome and loved. So she’s hid him for three months. But you can’t hide a baby that age, and if she gets caught!

She waterproofs a basket made of river reeds, and offers him to the river. Oh that river, what horrors it holds. She can’t stand to look. But I stay nearby and follow the flow of the river, walking alongside my baby brother like a shepherd.

Then I see beautiful gowns and robes, and women in them. They step into the river, and see the basket. They hear tiny sobs barking from within. Orders are given to a servant girl to fetch the basket. The king’s daughter admires my brother, and wonders what to do. It’s hard to tell yourself, ‘No’. So she doesn’t. She holds the boy close and knows he needs a nurse.

I offer to find one…my mom! Of course I don’t tell the princess it is the boy’s mother who will nurse him. I just jump at the opportunity. My forefather—Jacob—wrestled with God and men. And he won. Surely I can win some more time for my mom to be with her child.

He was home with us that evening: Crying. I guess he didn’t understand.

And so we passed away a few more years in captivity.

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