When Our Plans for our Children Unravel

Welcome to week 10 of our Unraveled series. You can see our theme for this week above. In some ways, I actually don’t think I need to say anything more. The overwhelming majority of parents would want their children to succeed. We might have plans around that; good VCE results meaning the ability to access university, the opportunity to find a good fulfilling and well-paid job, the hopes and dreams of finding a partner to share their lives with, and the hopes and dreams of grandchildren. When those things don’t happen, or at least don’t happen in the way we would wish, our concern for our children rises up and we can want to help or protect them from the results of an unravelling of plans. Our story today is of Moses. Moses defied the odds by being born and allowed to live, by being found and adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh, and by being given back to his mother to be nursed. All of this happened because Moses’ mother and his sister develop a plan to ensure his survival. It may not have gone strictly to their plan, but survive he did, and he became one of the most defining figures of Jewish history. As we live through this time in our history there are many parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and close family friends who are watching the plans for their children unravel. Think of those children who are trying to complete their VCE and begin studying for a career, of those who have been struggling with their first year of university or TAFE, of those who are trying to transition into high school or just into the beginning of school at kinder or prep. The plans we hold for all these young people have unraveled from where they were at the beginning of the year. What are some of the things we can be doing to ease that unravelling and trust in God to weave us whole again? Jay Robinson An Imperfect Ally (Pharaoh’s Daughter Adopts Moses) – Acrylic on canvas by Lisle Gwynn Garrity Inspired by Exodus 1:22, 2:1-10 Moses’ mother and Miriam plot a clever plan but it’s far from foolproof. The risks far outweigh their changes for success. What if the basket they place him in leaks, drowning him instead of keeping baby Moses afloat? What if the current gets too strong, or the winds pick up, or he gets stuck in a tangle of reeds? What if the wrong person finds him and fulfils Pharaoh’s command? What if Pharaoh’s daughter is moved with disgust when she sees what floats into her private bathing quarters? If Pharaoh’s daughter decides to keep the child as her own, what will keep Pharaoh from killing Moses when she’s not looking? Their plan is too perilous, too fraught with danger for any infant to endure, and yet, we know of mothers who risk desert hear, fatigue, illness, dehydration, criminalised border crossings, and facilities with cages to pursue the slight chance – the mere hope – of survival for their child. Why would they do this? Because to stay home and succumb to the sure threats of genocide – or gang violence, or civil war – is far more dangerous.

In this image, I gave the viewer the vantage point Pharaoh’s daughter might have had. What melts her heart with mercy when she sees this Hebrew child float downstream? Was a well of rebellion rising up within her, making her eager to subvert her father’s orders? Was she poisoned like most Egyptians with bias against the Israelites, but did the innocence and vulnerability of an infant shift her heart toward love? Had she desperately wanted a children of her own? Regardless of her motives, Pharaoh’s daughter uses her power and privilege to act as an ally to Moses and his family in their worst unraveling. It’s not a perfect solution, but God doesn’t need perfection to achieve liberation. Lisle Gwynn Garrity

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