Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Early Ripples

I'm (probably sinfully) proud of my opening paragraphs, so here there are:

The ripples of the water lapped the shore unevenly, out of rhythm with the steady flow of the river. Looking at the river’s edge she noticed a disturbance somewhere past her was causing miniscule waves to break all along the shore beside her. Movement elsewhere in the water was bringing the small breakers to shore swifter than they had been coming before, and the new waves were bumping into the other irregularly. Something, somewhere was moving toward her from up the river. The ripples of the water betrayed its presence or announced its arrival. I guess it depends on how the story is to turn out.

The disturbance turned out to be just that – a 3 month old baby, still dependent on a woman, someone’s mother for food and comfort and care; soon to be a boy with energy and awkwardness and rough edges and a competitive spirit; someday a young man with a call, a mission, a persistence that could drive you crazy or wear you down; then in middle age and growing old always coming back with yet another commandment or rule or guideline or instruction, something to change the way things are always done. A disturbance in the water was all it seemed to be that day. A disturbance in the world was what was coming down the line.

The ripples started upstream where an older girl, the baby’s older sister, was watching silently, stealthily through the reeds, waiting anxiously to see what would happen. Would this scheme of the last resort bring the baby to safety or would it just usher in the devastation the family had been blessed to avoid at least this long? Would the baby be pulled adoringly out of the water, or would he be deemed a nuisance and a threat, and subjected to the same watery death as all the rest of the newborn Hebrew boys? Miriam watched with her heart in her throat and her fists clenched in tight balls of prayer and demanding.

You might say the ripples started with her. She was the one who was watching Moses’ destiny unfold. She was the one who stayed close enough to see who would find the basket.

The ripples began earlier than that, though, didn’t they? Sure, the baby’s mother was the one who plastered the papyrus basket, ensuring it would be water proof and safe for her precious baby whose short life was already a unique testimony to the mystical intersection of preparedness and providence. His mother was surely the source of the ripples that now found their way to the shoreline.

8 comments:

cheesehead said...

Lovely. Truly.

Methodist Mama said...

Just beautiful. I saw, and felt and heard the water and the two women. Wonderful sermon beginning!

Katie Z. said...

it is a fantastic start! if you are sinfully proud, then I sinfully covent your beautiful words! lol. good luck with the rest of it!

earthchick said...

Love it.

She Rev said...

Thanks ladies! This has come out in a very different voice than I usually preach, but I am enjoying it. I hope I can sustain it.

mompriest said...

lovely, indeed, and engaging! Enjoy that preaching voice and see where it leads you!

cheesehead said...

I'm actually using the word ripple in my sermon,too, but taking it in a slightly different direction that you are so far.

I hope this is taken as one of those 'great minds thinking alike' situations!

RevDrKate said...

This really is a wonderful start...can't wait to hear the rest