Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Little Lesson in Exodus

My little people love to learn. Just about anything will do, but what they especially love is learning the Bible. We read every morning during breakfast and discuss what we're going through, and I am learning myself just by teaching them.

I will tell you this, though. Sometimes I'm so challenged by their questions that I don't quite know how to answer. For example, we just began studying the book of Exodus. There are so many things to catch a child's attention, but here's what Lucy, who adores babies with her whole heart, can't let go of.

Exodus 1:22 "Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: 'Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.'"

I like to be honest with my little people about everything, but in this case, I didn't go into the whole scenario. I simply read the verse as is. And then Lucy heard the verse when we were listening to Bible stories on CD in the car. And even weeks after we had read this passage, she couldn't stop thinking about it. She tells me often, "Mommy, Pharaoh was SO bad. He threw all the babies into the river. Oh, Mommy. That was so awful. Why did he do that?" Or, when we're out in public, "Mommy, we don't throw babies into the river. Who does that?" (It's a little awkward, I'm not going to lie.)

Each time she brings it up, we discuss how that was just one of the ways that we knew how evil Pharaoh (and really, for their lack of protest, the people of Egypt) was. We talk about how he was punished for what he did.

But that still doesn't solve the problem of the babies in the river, does it? Just wait, it gets worse, because the other day both little people had this revelation, as we were having yet another discussion about the babies in the river.

Milo: "So, Mommy, did Yahweh get the babies out of the river?"

Me:  (loooooong pause, considering my answer) "Well, no, Milo. Yahweh didn't."

The look of horror on Milo's face was evident, but Lucy hadn't quite caught on yet.

Lucy: "Well, Mommy, who got the babies out of the river?"

Me:  (again, pausing while both little people stare at me) "Well, Lucy, the Bible doesn't tell us that anyone got the babies out of the river. Remember? It's one of the reasons Egypt was punished so harshly."

Oh, Lucy Jane's little face. Because she understood. She understood very deeply and her big beautiful eyes brimmed with tears.

Yucky. Yucky, gross, horrible facts. Do you dread those moments when your little people catch on that the world isn't all sunshine and roses? When they realize that there are really evil people who are not afraid to harm innocents? As I steered the conversation back toward the fact that God punished Pharaoh and all of Egypt for what they did, I had to remind myself, too.

Because, the babies in the river are still a problem for me, too. And not just the babies in the river, but the slavery, the Crusades, the Holocaust, and even what's happening today are still a BIG problem for me, and every morning when I walk I'm working out a lot of things in my mind.

I won't go into all the things I've been considering after all this, but it's quite a list. Maybe another day I'll let you in on my thought process, but it really comes down to this (and this is a serious oversimplification). Please, dear Lord, get me out of Egypt, and get all the Egypt out of me.

1 comment:

  1. Oh lucy, she loves babies. Poor thing, it breaks my heart that she had to come to that realization so early. And WOW. I know this story and have read this before, but I never thought about the sheer horror of that as a visual. Just kind of shows that even though there aren't "babies in the river", we still have a lot of hurt in our world.