Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)
By Christina Banks
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Maachah’s eyes flew toward the distant horizon, the elder’s words burning in her ears. She squinted against the glare of the sun, her eyes searching for evidence against the dire proclamation. Her ears throbbed with the panicked beating of her heart. There, still several miles away, a large band of dust rose from the wilderness. The beauty of the day, the calm of the sea, the song of the birds was all forgotten under the impending danger. Pharaoh was coming. His chariots were there, leading the host of Egypt. They were trapped, hemmed in on all sides. The sea was before them, and Pharaoh’s army was coming after them.
Leaving her washing where it lay, Maachah rushed to the camp. She had to find her son, she had to find Oshea. He would know what to do.
The tent stood empty. Maachah collapsed onto the hardened dirt floor. Rocking back and forth, tears poured down her sun worn cheeks. Fear threatened to swallow her whole. They were doomed. Why had God allowed this to happen? Why did they listen to the empty promises of Moses? Pharaoh would not allow them to live. This was the end.
“Hush now,” the quiet words and gentle touch of her son’s strong hands did little to quiet the terror that seized her. Maachah melted into Oshea’s embrace. He was so strong, so much like his father.
“Pharaoh,” Maachah choked out the word.
“I know.” Maacahah looked into his deep brown eyes. There was no fear in their clear depths. “God has not abandoned us, mother. Even now the cloud has moved between us and the armies of Pharaoh. You will see, God is at work. He will make a way for us to escape.”
Maachah shook her head. “But how? It would have been better for us to have stayed in Egypt. Things were better there. At least we wouldn’t have to die in this wilderness.”
“Do you truly believe that? Do you not remember the way that the taskmasters beat father to death because he could not meet the quota of bricks?”
“I do remember.” Maachah bowed her head in shame. “But we are trapped, Oshea. We are going to die here.”
“Have faith. God is not done with us yet. We are his chosen people. You will see.” Maachah allowed her son to help her to her feet. “Now come. Moses has heard from the Lord. Let us see what great deliverance is in His hand.”
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