06 November 2015

Jochebed: Mother

Exodus 2:1-10

Here by the riverside,
as I watch him float away,
as I lose my greatest treasure
and he drifts out of my reach -
here by the riverside
I know what motherhood is.

It means to lose
so he can gain,
means putting his good
over mine,
although it hurts.
It means to bear pain
so he can be safe,
covering him with my wings,
protecting him with my life,
sending him downstream
although it rends my soul.
It means sacrificing
my happiness for his
- for his happiness is mine.

These tears I cry
are so he can have joy.
This ache in my heart
is so he can have life.

Lord, I lay my treasure
into your loving hands -
and ask you one thing only,
that you be a Mother,
to him.


[4. September 2012 - during class ;-)]

I had a looooong time on this lady. I first had the idea about a year ago: on reading Exodus 2, I thought I'd write something about how letting go is worth it with God, that sometimes we have to let go of things to receive them back. Jochebed let go of Moses - if she hadn't, he would not have survived. She let him go, and she got him back and was able to keep him for a while without danger.

The whole thing changed though, when I wrote it. It ended up being about being a mother. And I'm quite content with it this way. This is dedicated to my beloved Mamma who has had to let go of her "grown-up" children - she's in one continent and we're in the other. Not easy! So this is dedicated to her. <3

God is not only Father but also Mother - the image appears a few times in the Bible. While writing this I became aware of how God is very much like this definition of motherhood: giving and sacrificing a so we can have life. He gave Himself for us in Jesus, bore pain for our sakes. And we weren't really the sweetest little children - while we were sinners, Jesus died for us! God loves us like a mother.

The "wings" image refers to how a mother hen covers her chicks with her wings when there is a fire, and lets herself burn to death protecting her chicks. I don't know if that really happens but that's how my father explained the verse where Jesus said that God has been wanting to gather Israel under His wings like a hen gathers her chicks. I put that image in on purpose, also to make the link to God as Mother.

Picture by Pedro Américo

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