Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ANNOYED (04/05/18)
- TITLE: Exodus Revisited
By Taryn Deets
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The elevator door closes behind them, as they grab my luggage and carry it downstairs.
“Grace, let’s go, Nader and Emad are downstairs waiting and we’re already 15 minutes late!”
“Coming mom, I’m trying to find matching socks.”
“Why is today the first day you need to wear matching socks? Your socks never match! WE'RE LATE, let’s go.”
We ride the elevator down to meet the rest of the family as they are loading their luggage into the trunks of two taxis.
Emad greets us, “Good morning.”
“Sabbaht il kheer, Ezzayik?” Good morning, How are you? “Your family?”
“Hamdoulillah!” Praise be to God!
The morning sun streams in the windows, but the early spring breeze cools the air inside as we whiz past six-eight story sand-colored apartment buildings and smiling, I notice the colorful laundry hanging from so many windows. At one point we pass Giza and I spy the pyramids in the distance, small and indistinct in the haze of pollution, cars, and sand that surrounds us.
Walking into our hotel room, I realize 4-star might have been a slight exaggeration. The photos on the website do not do this room justice!
Swallowing my irritation, “Let’s go check out the pool and the beach.”
The seven of us fill the tiny elevator and watch through the glass as it lowers to ground level. As we walk to the beach, see the caged monkeys and guinea fowl, what I notice is not only the shore line, but also the women. The men and young children look pretty much like they could be transplanted to any beach in the US, but the women, well not so much.
They stand apart with their multicolored hijabs and a few in black burkas. A few are fully covered, but most wear the hijab and a long dress or long pants and a blouse. Beautiful, they watch as their husbands play in the surf with their little ones. A few of the younger women without children, wear bathing suits with long sleeves and pants, are playing in the surf with their husbands.
Trying to stem my rising frustration with this disparity, I turn my attention to the sea, “THE RED SEA!” I think.
Waves lapping my toes on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez, I wonder how close I am standing to original Exodus route. I stare across the expanse thinking that the Biblical journey seems to me to be over as fast as I could read about it on the page. But as I stare across the water, check google I realize: this is the thinnest slice of the Red Sea and crossing here on foot would have taken at least 7 hours (32km).
Finding a lounge chair as our teens walk off in search of shell-treasures, I ponder what it must have been like to stand here, with the sea in front and their pursuers not far behind trying to have faith in the delivery God has promised. While not running from slavery, I am still waiting on the Lord’s promised healing for this blended family he’s given us. I empathize with the Israelites’ fears and grumbling as they stood on this or some not too distant shore.
“There’s only one English channel and it’s dubbed in Arabic with English subtitles,” Dan grumbles.
“There’s no internet, not even one available network,” Kate’s frustration rises.
“You can go sit in the hotel lobby, there is internet there,” and they all trudge down to the lobby.
On our final morning, waiting for our transportation back to the city, I am sitting with my toes in the sand, considering my own journey to Red Sea deliverance. Some days I wish the Lord would just open up the Sea and let me walk through the daily struggles and out the other side to a new life. But I realize the healing he has planned for me means turning around, walking back into Egypt. My mission is walking down the beach toward me with their shirts full of shells and rocks and sitting modestly dressed, beautifully adorned in hijabs all around me on this beach watching their children play in the waters of the Red Sea. The path through the Red Sea can wait.
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