Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: No Ordinary Child
By Suzanne R
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The Creator knows our family needs a girl. Miriam, sweet child, sing happy songs of trust. Sing with me, daughter. He will care for us. Yes, yes, I know what terrible thing happened to your aunt. These are awful times but we must trust Him.
Sing of this, child. Just as He called our forefathers to leave their home, so one day He will provide for our people a great leader to liberate us and lead us back to the land He has promised.
No, silly billy, it won’t be you. You’re a girl. Maybe your brother, though. He is about the right age. Four hundred years in slavery, the prophecy stated. Not much longer. Aaron is a good kid. But a leader?
“Almighty One, you promised to prosper our people. Multiply we have. May this little one be a girl. We trust you, O Great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
It is time, husband. Hush … no need for the midwife. …Two children already … I know this is going smoothly ... We dare not involve others ... Just in case…. Oh, the pain…. Hold my hand, dear man of God, and pray. Pray for our daughter’s safe birth.
Miriam … you’re awake? Well, you’ll be grown soon enough child. Come, sit by your mother. Your sister is about to …aaaaaaaargh.
“Why? WHY? Why us? Why didn’t you protect us? You were more than capable to grant us another daughter. Why a boy? You are trustworthy, I know. Yet I struggle to accept that just now.”
Miriam, dear girl, you mustn’t tell anybody. Do you understand? This is our family secret. Keep a watch over Aaron too … he is too small to understand. This new little one is no ordinary child. Your father and I cannot do as the king demands. It is a heavy burden to place on you, I know, but it is one you must bear. No. No singing. Not now.
“Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer, we throw ourselves on your mercy. This child is clearly special, and I swear by your creation that I know that in the depths of my being and not just because he is our child. You know that we can’t hide the child any longer. His cries are louder all the time. Throw all baby Hebrew boys in the Nile, the king says. Oh Holy God, we entrust our little one to your care.”
Wake up, Miriam, my big girl. Mummy needs you to do a very important job. Carry this basket, will you. My hands are full with the baby. Yes, we’re taking him outside at last. Careful in the dark … and tread softly.
You see this calm patch in the river with so many reeds? It is too early yet for the noble women to be here, but this is where they come … we have a little time. Wade into the water, my girl. Further. Good. Put the basket there. Now come back to me, and let us watch the basket a while. Does it float away? Does it rock too much? No? Good.
Now, little lady, take your baby brother and put him in the basket. Don’t look at me like that. Go. Gently now. Now put the lid on. I must go home … I cannot watch. You must stay where you can see the basket, but not too close. This is a heavy burden to ask you to bear, I know. But the God of our ancestors is trustworthy. No, I’m not crying, child. Of course not. It must be allergies to these reeds. You’re a very good girl. I hear footsteps … I must go. Stay watch, child.
“He is your little boy as much as ours, mighty God. Protect him.”
I’m coming, Miriam. What? What?!?!?!
“Moses. Your child, drawn from the water. And mine, just for a time”
Miriam, dear girl, sing that history song once more. It teaches the little one of our heritage. When he is grown, perhaps he will remember the truths in your sweet songs, even if he forgets his own mother, Jochebed, wife of Amram. Believe me, dear child, your baby brother is no ordinary child.
Could it be? Perhaps my old eyes will not see it, but Miriam, dear girl, you probably will. This is your generation. And then you will really have cause to sing.
Sing it again, my girl.
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