Monday, June 17, 2013

The Prince of Egypt

I suppose when you grow up in a Christian environment and hear Bible stories your whole life the awe and wonder of the reality of the stories is somewhat lost. I watched "The Prince of Egypt" yesterday for the first time in years. It hit me and all I could think throughout the film was, "This stuff really happened!". Moses' mother really and truly had to hide her baby son in fear that men would barge into her home and tear him from her arms and slaughter him. She really did smuggle him to the river's shore and had the crazy faith and trust to put him in a basket and let her own child drift away from her to who-knows-where. And, then if that weren't all crazy enough, God came and spoke to Moses years later through a bush that was on fire and sent him on a crazy mission. And then the waters of the Nile turned to actual blood. Fire and huge hail fell from the sky. The sun stopped shining and Egypt was filled with darkness. Sickness, bugs, frogs infested the land and people. And then the tenth and last plague. I don't get this one. I can't understand why this horrible thing had to happen, but it did. "...There was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead." Every home, every person lost someone. Every mother had to bury her son. Maybe a part of me wants to believe that at least this part is just a story. It's so horrific. But, it happened. It's hard to wrap my mind around it, because all I've ever wanted is to be a mother and the thought of losing a child is so gut-wrenchingly awful that this part of the Bible bewilders me. Perhaps this is another post for another day. The point is, The Bible is real. Sometimes I think we can forget that all those wild and shocking and horrifying and miraculous and awe-inspiring things are an actual part of History. God parted a freaking sea in two and allowed his people to walk through safely and then in a second the walls of water crashed down on the enemy.

It's all so unbelievable and far-fetched sounding. I watched the movie in tears and laughed and shuddered as the reality of it all sunk in. Can you imagine being an Israelite? Your past, present, and future is slavery. One day the ex-prince/murderer/runaway strolls back into Egypt, walks right up to the Pharaoh, and demands that he let you and your people go. What? Imagine being there as the Nile turned into literal blood. Imagine watching fire fall from heaven. Imagine being awoken by the heartbroken wailing of the Egyptian mothers and fathers on that awful night. Imagine the inexpressible joy of being free and the anxiety and terror as your masters change their minds and pursue you. Imagine the hopelessness with a sea in front of you and cloud of dust and a thousand chariots behind you. Imagine seeing that ex-prince/murderer/stuttering/ scared runaway, chosen by God, walk to the shores edge and place his staff in the waves. Imagine seeing the waves quiver and tremble and burst and tower above you. Your past was slavery, but your future is finally freedom.

"The Prince of Egypt" told the story of Exodus so powerfully. It brought the words to life. I'm in awe, giddy really, and incredibly excited.

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