Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Packing for home

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.Moses.

Some very dear passages from Exodus popped as I read today. Of particular interest was Miriam, Moses’ sister, who led the women in singing a hymn to the Lord. She “took a tambourine in her hand and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.”
This took place after what must have looked like The End. There was no escape. They had fled into a trap, mountains on either side, the sea ahead, and the Egyptian army closing behind them. What could they do, encumbered as they were with their little ones, their grandpas and grandmas, and all those sheep and goats? The Israelites’ rescue has never been forgotten, the images are embedded in our language. Miriam sang and danced: Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.

Aside from wishing to be more like my current African Christian sisters who dance in worship, I am curious about the tambourines. Directly on the other side of this event Miriam digs through her luggage and pulls out a tambourine? If you are a refugee packing for the wilderness in a time of national crisis and hostility would you say, oh, this will probably come in handy? Not I.

Perhaps it’s a reminder that we travel home not only with bare necessities, (and remember they were fleeing for their lives) but we must also carry the things that flourish and embellish life. The extra serif on a letter, the violet on a plate of salad, the countermelody that floats above the line, and even the decorative metal etching on the rifle stock.


jenni said...

I love these thoughts. I read that very chapter in Exodus today - isn't the song of Moses just beautiful?

Margie Haack said...

jenni, yes, it is. Also beautiful the connection between us and the Spirit...Thank you for telling me, not just thinking.