Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)
TITLE: A Mother's Love . . .
By Judith Gayle Smith
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He grew powerful, intelligent and unfailingly curious. His two "Mothers" shared differing cultures with him. They did not pit one against the other. He learned to be understanding and compassionate - rare qualities in the environment into which he was adopted.
Too curious. Too compassionate. Seeing someone horribly mistreating a man, he slew the attacker. This did not escape Pharaoh's notice. This Pharaoh was his adoptive Grandfather - not thrilled with this young man's questionable birth. He tolerated him because he loved his daughter. Now he had reason to ill treat this misbegotten heir.
The young Prince fearfully fled his homeland. He settled in a far distant desert land. He married the lovely daughter of a priest, taking on their chores, never flaunting his Princely position.
The beautiful Egyptian Princess yearned forty agonizing years for her beloved son. Depressed, she chose to dwell in the Palace's dank cellar. She never married. Her adopted son was her entire life. She ceased adorning herself with her magnificent pearls, gold and silver baubles and exquisite raiment. Never again painted her beautiful eyes. Why bother? Hot tears flooded the black kohl from her reddened eyes. She mourned - oh how she grieved. She sent her spies everywhere to find her son, but they were terribly inept.
Strangers in town - demanding entrance to Pharaoh! No one demanded of the Pharaoh/God! Insane! Something familiar about the quieter one tugged at her - the way he walked, how he tilted his head. He glanced her way without recognition. She looked the worn haggard woman she had become - time and grief changes one. She slowly faded to her corner again.
Holocaust! Undrinkable blood polluted water! Slimy horrid frogs! Swarms of lice! Flies! Cattle, asses, sheep and oxen dying of a plague! Boils! Hail! Thunder! Fire! Locusts! Destroyed crops! Horrible thick darkness!
Pharaoh's daughter, plagued with the misery she and her people equally suffered, grew increasingly pitiably withdrawn. Her father, Pharaoh, was no longer God to her nor to their people. He constantly, adamantly refused the two strangers who entreated him to allow them to worship their own God. With their families. The oppressed slaves. Why was her father so cruel? He withered in her eyes - her once trusting, adoring love for him turned to scathing hatred.
Bitterly enshrouded in the fear of the strangers' demanding God, disgust for her Father/Pharaoh/self-proclaimed God, she gathered her pitifully few momentos, and slipped from the only home she had ever known - the Palace, with all its luxurious soft living and tantalizing treasures - and quietly crept after the strangers, straight to Israel's hosts. She had heard from her faithful servants that their people did not suffer so.
Her son's nursemaid - would she remember her? She made enquiry. An old woman took her by the hand and led her to a house occupied with a great busyness. She recognized her old friend! Incredibly, the nursemaid recognized her - without her vainglorious splendor! She worried for her friend, having heard the threat against the firstborn children who would perish unless Pharaoh repented of his stubborness against the almighty King of Israel - YHWH Elohim! Would that also happen to the Israelite Mothers? Her old friend reassured her, that just as the plagues did not hurt them, so this final tragedy would not afflict them if they obeyed their God.
The two strangers who brought Egypt to its knees entered! The self-defrocked humbled Princess hid, cowering and whimpering in a corner. Her old friend came to reassure her and to introduce her to her two wonderful sons of whom she was so proud.
Still trembling, the Princess gazed into eyes hauntingly familiar - still trustingly innocent - and collapsed into her son's welcoming arms. "My Moses! I have sought so grieviously long for you! And you are my dear old friend's son! Oh, please take this tired foolish old woman into your home. Take me to your God. My search is over!"
Moses spoke softly - "Your home has always been in my heart, and I have prayed mightily for you, my little Mother. The wonder is that while you so diligently sought for me, my God was seeking to win your heart."
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