by Rich Mullins
Release Magazine July/August 1996
"Moses grew and became a man. He visited his people and saw..."
Exodus 2:11, besides being part of the great account of God delivering Israel out of its bondage in Egypt, gives us a few little glimpses into the character of Moses, the meaning of maturing and those microscopic miracles that play into the Cecil B. DeMille ones.
"Moses grew..." It is so nearly cliche that you hate to say it, but Moses did not come out of the womb, nor was he drawn out of the river, equipped to fulfill God's plan for him. Moses grew. This may be the best thing that can be said about any of us - not that we "have become" - but that we are continually " becoming." Growth is a sign of life, and if Jesus said that He came that we might have it, it must be good.
Moses' growth did not happen as we might wish: after "becoming a man," he was still seized with rage, fear, and all those things we'd rather outgrow. These flaws along the way make it difficult to measure growth, and that difficulty makes it tempting to give up. But to give up - to refuse to grow - is to die. That's maybe why Christ said not to judge.
" ...and became a man. He visited his people..." The mature person is one who is ready to see himself in a context bigger than himself. Many of us want to imagine that we need to find ourselves - a notion that may be true in a limited sort of way. Many of us think that we must define or invent ourselves - possibly equally true but in an even more limited way.
When moses visited his people he was beginning to accept himself, not just as an Egyptian prince, but as the heir to something far greater, far grander than a crown. He was beginning to accept himself as being part of a people (in his case, a "chosen people" ). The identity given him by the palace occupants could never give him waht everyone needs - a sense of who we are. As a man, maybe he had outgrown his reputation and become restless among peers. So, he visited his people and began to know himself.
"...and saw..." In Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories, the Potato Face Blind Man plays an accordian and wears a sign that says "I'm blind too." Most of us have trouble seeing. Clear vision is blocked by ungrounded expectations (both the fearful kind and the grandiose kind), by narrowness, and by a lack of faith. When Moses "saw," he had come to a place where he was able to set aside his willfully constructed world and enter the one that existed independently of his wishes. What he saw in Egypt would be stretched by what he would come to see in Midian, but here was the beginning of what would end with his view of the promised land.
And so, I hope you too will grow, though you - like Moses and me and everyone I know - may have flaws. I hope that you as a part of a chosen people know who you are beyond who your peers suspect you to be. And I hope you see, that you recognize suffering and that you someday see the salvation for which we wait.