An Open Letter to Moses

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Dear Moses,

There was this song I sang as a little girl about you and Miriam and bullrushes. Dancing around, I would pretend to be Miriam, checking on you, and suggesting to Pharaoh’s daughter that our Mama could nurse you.

Oh, Moses. You introverted, stuttering, adopted prince, you. Adopted prince twice. I imagine you to be a quiet and unassuming man of bronze complexion with a heart that wrestled. And I imagine that you always felt out of place. You were of two cultures, two worlds. And you were called to choose: life or death.

Even in your sin of choosing both (you did murder the Egyptian), God was there. In the fire, in the water, in the clouds, in the silence, when you struck that rock–He was there. All the way to the end, you learned that it was not ever by your power. Only a conduit were you.

“He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:26-27

he endured as seeing him who is invisible

From a basket covered in tar floating down the Nile to receiving the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai, yours is a wild story of adventure and heartbreak. I wonder if you missed your adoptive Egyptian family–if there were sights or smells that conjured memories and that feeling of home.  But you knew that the voice of I Am was sweeter than any allure of the old land.

You saw Him–the Invisible One. You were tending your sheep in Midian–doing what some would consider boring work, especially considering the educational background you must have had as a prince of Egypt. And the voice of the holy one came with a fire of a thorny bush.

Voices continued to come through the years–voices of whiny, adulterous people who finally got to you. And you smashed that rock. Yep, you were angry and you sinned. But Hebrews touts you as one who endured.

I want to know that even though I make mistakes–no, even though I sin, God can still use me. That His grace and power in my life surpasses my stupidity. Moses, God called you. And you endured and saw.

The truest riches and the wildest adventures center on Him who is invisible.

Thanks for keeping the faith,

Audrey Ann

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Issue of Blood

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Leaving her body was the would-be life source, the oxygen and sustenance to progeny and the pride of her life, to sweet coos against her breast and honor in the village. Once it flowed, however, once it slid out into a wretched rag and down her thighs, it became the source of shame and signal of death: blood. Womb blood not of provision, but of denial.

She carried Egypt’s first plague in her body. And she hid. That is what people do who carry plagues, they hide.

The stream of blood defined her; it was her name. The state of her uterus was everyone’s business, separating her from the place of worship, separating her from God. That was the law. That was until Jesus, until He said that all our best efforts are the very same as the woman’s cloths of red, dark and rank.

She touched Him.

I think the woman with the issue of blood has always been one of my favorite heroes of the faith. And I wonder what her name was. Did her eyes lower in front of others, or did she stick out her chin in defiant hopefulness? But I suppose that when she reached for Jesus, that was sufficient redefinition.

That was her name: the woman who reached for Jesus. Her fingers slid along the rim of His clothing, and she held on. She was healed.

What a warrior, this woman. Battling through the crowds, pushing past men, she fought for Hope. And she found Him.

That is the end of what we know for sure about this gutsy woman of God. But what about after her healing? Did she forever struggle with the stigma of being the woman unclean, the woman repugnant to those who peered from afar?

I hope she saw herself as part of Jesus’ bride, part of the family. I hope there were babies in her life she could snuggle and love. I hope she laughed with ease and made friends who embraced her and her new-found faith. But in the end, what matters is that she was a woman who reached for Jesus. And that made all the difference.

It always does.

 

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

 

Image: Wikipedia (Catacombs of Rome)

Read the accounts for yourself: (Matthew 9:18–26, Mark 5:21–43, Luke 8:40–56).

Candor, Faith, and Lowercase

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In high school, I took various classes to teach me how to write a proper essay–one complete with a strong thesis statement, surrounded by an introduction, supporting points, and a conclusion that ties back into the introduction. It was like a present. You laid it all out and then wrapped it up in a ‘bow’ of concise and eloquent prose, with a punchy line that streamlined your whole train of thought and hopefully stuck to the reader like glue.

It is like a formula, an equation. Lately, I have been uncomfortable with that formula in my writing, but even more uncomfortable to forego it. Never, ever do I want to deconstruct merely for the sake of deconstructing. That is being the child who, with devilish glee, stomps all over someone’s elaborate sandcastle yelling, “Aha! I told you so! That sandcastle was stupid!” Breaking is almost always easier than building.

As an English major, I would inwardly roll my eyes at poet rule-breakers like E.E. Cummings (pardon me, e.e. cummings). While I could not deny his obvious skill and artistry, I was plagued with rigidity, and aspects of his works frustrated me. The use of the lower case just seemed like an expression of wanting to do things differently–to be complicated for the sake of being complicated.

And yet, not all of life is a a simple box wrapped in shiny paper and bows. Life has taught me that when Cummings could not. Sorry, e.e.

There are things I think I understand and things that I certainly never will, until Jesus takes me to that place I am to call home. Faith is a gift. It was not made by human hands. And sometimes I have no clue what to do with it. I clutch it like an impoverished child with her first Christmas gift, and lift it up to Him: “Daddy, I don’t know how it works.”

Sure, I know: read my Bible, pray, and go to church. Those things are true and they are essential, but they are the result, not the instigator, not the pursuer, not the reason. My Father is. As we go, and as we read, and as we strive, and as we press, may we remember that our Father is, indeed, a good, good father. When I cannot make sense of this world (which is always the case), I can know that God has told me about some things that are to come. As for the other things, well, that is where that gift of faith comes in–in Him.

“Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”~ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” ~Ephesians 2:8

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann