Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)
By Krista Brubaker
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Miriam rushed in. “Mother, soldiers are near! They’re searching every home! They’ll find him!”
At her daughter’s frantic words, Jochebed’s wide eyes shot to the basket in the corner. No, please God! I’m not ready!
When she looked back to her baby, his bright brown eyes held her gaze, and as much as she desired to hold on to him, she knew only God could save her child.
“Miriam, bring the basket.”
The two women stole away from the village, quickly making their way to the riverbank. Cries of agony behind them were eventually quenched by the water’s gentle sonance. Miriam lowered the carefully woven basket and looked anxiously back at her mother. Staring out at the river, Jochebed fought desperately against every part of her that said she could keep him safe. Her throbbing heart slowed as she surrendered her despair to her trust in the Lord. Please, God. Please save him. Please. Please.
Miriam squeezed her mother’s arm. “God loves him, Momma.”
A tender smile curved Jochebed’s lips as she looked on her daughter, born into slavery, yet free to hope in the Lord’s power to deliver. Just let go, Jochebed, lay him down. I trust you to take my baby to safety, Lord. With full faith, tears escaped her eyes as she placed him in the basket and looked in her son’s face for the last time. She could barely breathe when he started to whimper. With eyes squeezed shut, she leaned down and kissed his forehead. Miriam did the same, then fastened the cover tightly. His soft cries grew louder, but Jochebed let the vessel with its delicate cargo drift from her shaking fingers into the reeds. Goodbye, beloved son.
“Aha! I knew you would hide over here!”
“Oh please, you got lucky.”
“Right, just like I got lucky the last three times.” The handmaiden grinned and waded her way back to the group of bathing girls whose hiding places had already been found out.
“Well, maybe I was going easy on you!” Pharaoh’s daughter chided back to her friend while floating on her back among the reeds.
What was that? Surprised, the princess stood up and glanced around. Was that a baby crying? No, of course not. A sharp cry behind her, much louder than the last one, turned her eyes toward a basket leisurely drifting near the river’s edge. The princess waded over to it curiously, unaware that she was being watched by a pair of anxious brown eyes. When another cry came from within the basket, she quickly unfastened the cover. The babe’s face was fraught with distress, filling the girl with compassion for him. “Shhh, shhhhh, my dear. You are safe, shhhh.”
Miriam couldn’t contain her joy and with a quick squeal her hiding place was given away to the princess. They locked eyes.
“Do you know this baby’s mother?”
“Yes, I know her.” Miriam’s apprehension melted as the princess said, “Go fetch her. He still needs a nurse, then I will raise him as my own.” She stroked his soft cheek. “He will be a prince. Prince Moses.”
A familiar cry came from behind the curtains of the princess’s chamber. Jochebed began thanking God for His blessing, and the next instant she was holding her son again, kissing him all over and letting tears fall freely. The overjoyed mother smiled and whispered soothingly, “Shhhhhh my son, I’m here. I’m here, Moses.”
Interpreted from Exodus 1:22, 2:1-10
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