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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

TITLE: Tapestry


Yocheved leaned against the doorway of their home in the whitewashed village of the Hebrews and awaited the outcome of her daring feat.

It was the images of the dangers, lurking in the waters of the Nile, more than the oppressive heat of the day that took its toll on her heart. She longed for a breath of fresh air to revive her trembling spirit. Her hands, raw and sore from plaiting reeds into a basket, clutched her sides. Her breasts, heavy with milk, already ached for the babe she could no longer keep quiet and hidden from Pharaoh’s guards.

A sudden shiver shook her free from the sense of dread. She forced her fear to the nether regions of her mind and focused on the promise given to her forefathers. It was a prophecy she and her husband, Amram, taught to their children, Miryam and Aharon.

As descendants of Levi, both Amram and Yocheved filled their home with the knowledge of Yhwh. “You are the fourth generation from the sons of Ya’akov,” Amram daily reminded them. “The years of Yosef’s prophecy are nearly fulfilled. Yhwh will send a deliverer who will end of the enslavement of our people and bring us into the land, which He swore by an oath to give to Avraham.

“Yhwh.” Yocheved breathed out His name with a reverence she had been taught as a child. She contemplated their mud-daubed home, comparing it to the Egyptian temple and Pharaoh’s palace, which loomed in the distance. There were no alabaster pillars in their humble dwelling, no golden altars for worship, no incense to offer up prayers.

“All we have is love,” she whispered as she closed her eyes in prayer. Our home is Your temple, Yhwh, and we are the pillars. Our hearts are the altars; our breath is the incense.

The sound of trumpets in the distance announced that Pharaoh’s daughter and her maidens had arrived at the river. Yocheved placed her hands over her heart and kept her eyes closed. Be glorified in what I have done. I saw greatness in my son’s eyes when he was born. Whatever plans you have for our people, be with my son to preserve and protect him.

Somehow, she knew there was a purpose in the flawless beauty of her baby. One look at him in his floating basket, and the princess’ heart would certainly melt with compassion. It would be hard for her to cast him into the river as Pharaoh had commanded. Perhaps she would even want him for her own.

Yocheved choked on the thought. Miryam and Aharon had already taken their brother into their hearts. For the last three months they had tenderly cared for him to help keep him happy and quiet. She imagined him, playing with other Hebrew children and growing in the knowledge of his heritage.

Nothing was more important than tracing their lineage back to Addam, Shet and Noach. Like fine threads woven together, they were connected to the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya’akov and his twelve sons, and now, Levi’s family for four generations. Their history was the centerpiece of their home. Just as straw and mud held the bricks together that formed their house, each cohesive thread cemented a story in their minds and reminded them from whence they had come.

Her thoughts lingered on the story of Yosef, who had first arrived in Egypt as a slave. He had never forgotten who he was while he waited for Yhwh to reveal his destiny. His father, Ya’akov, had taught him well. Yocheved wondered if one day their baby’s life might intertwine with Pharaoh’s family. She imagined him as a prince with the same divine purpose--to deliver the Hebrew people.

In a moment of uncertainty, she opened her eyes and looked around. They could never compete with the splendor of Pharaoh’s palace, but if the princess were to take their son now, his family ties would be lost to gold and riches. Her heart cried out, Yhwh, please let him live here a little longer, where he will be cherished and nurtured in Your ways. He must never forget who he is.

Miryam appeared at the doorway, her face flushed with excitement. She grabbed Yocheved’s hand and pulled her away from the longing that was tied up in hopes and dreams and brought her into the reality of answered prayers.

“The princess…she told me to come get you!”

Based on Exodus, chapters 1, 2 and 6
Yocheved is Hebrew for Yhwh (God) glorified

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This article has been read 867 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 06/05/08
Oh, I absolutely love this. Wonderful writing.
Karen Wilber06/06/08
I loved this part. I read it over and over again. "Our home is Your temple, Yhwh, and we are the pillars. Our hearts are the altars; our breath is the incense."
Joanne Sher 06/07/08
Absolutely beautifully rendered with the wonderful, wonderful language that endears me to these stories (and makes me STRONGLY suspect I know who wrote this!). This is anointed. Wonderful.
Beth LaBuff 06/07/08
I love how you've enriched this familiar story with detail. Beautiful writing!
Laura Anne Harrison06/08/08
This is so beautifully written! I loved it!
Betty Castleberry06/08/08
Such beautiful writing. I love behind the scenes Bible stories, and you told this one expertly. SO well done.
Chely Roach06/08/08
This was beautiful, and so well written. I loved it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/09/08
Superlative writing. I was right on the bank with Moses' mother, praying with her. You brought the story vividly to life with your wonderful descriptions.
Debbie Wistrom06/10/08
YOu are a wonderful weaver of words. Your vison of the old story is filled with details one can imagine.

I was a peace while reading this. Your words were soothing.
Joshua Janoski06/12/08
I hope this one places high, because I loved it! The Hebrew words created an authentic scene, and my heart went out to Moses' mother as I felt her struggle.

Your title fits your writing style as you have "woven a beautiful tapestry" with this piece.
LauraLee Shaw06/12/08
Congrats on 8th place overall, Mid!!! So happy for you!
Loren T. Lowery06/12/08
Extraordinary writing, Mid! Congratulations on placing...it certainly deserves to be recognized.
Sara Harricharan 06/12/08
Wow-this is great! I love it-especially with the way the names were done and everything, it just made it more real! Great job-and congratulations! ^_^
Joshua Janoski06/12/08
Yay,Mid! Doing a happy dance for you. Please don't look, because it is very silly. :)
Sheri Gordon06/12/08
Congratulations on your EC, Mid. I love the retelling of this story. Excellent writing. Great job with the topic.
Betsy Markman06/12/08
Beautiful indeed.
Beth LaBuff 06/12/08
Mid -- Congrats on placing with this beautiful story.
Dee Yoder 06/12/08
Congratulations, Mid, for the EC on this lovely story!
Catrina Bradley 06/12/08
Wonderful, my friend. I love the Hebrew names of the familiar characters, and the POV from this amazing mother. Thank you for telling HER story, and doing it so well! Congrats on your EC - so good to see you back on the list. :)
Mariane Holbrook 06/13/08
A well-deserved win, my dear, wonderful friend. You just get better and better and I've just increased my order of your first book from 200 to 400 copies. **grin** You're the best! (In every way and I luvs you!)
Peter Stone06/15/08
What I liked most about this story was the way in which the mother waiting on God and for His provision. She was obviously taking a risk, and was expecting something to happen, hence asking her daughter to stay and watch. You've shown this very effectively.
Ed VanDeMark06/16/08
This is a wonderful way to bring this bibical story to life and make the characters come alive as people with hopes, fears, great faith and much more.
Whenever someone comments on one of my stories, I look up their profile and read at least one thing they've written. You are so good you're intimidating. Yet like the bible story you've re-told, the life of Moses too is intimidating until you know him as a man who became a saint. Your profile tells a lot about you in a very few words. You're a mom. Your story adds to that you're an outstanding communicator. Excellent.