Compassion. Scripture, reflection and prayer.
Exodus 2:1-10 "A man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw there was something special about him and hid him. She hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile.
The baby’s older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him. Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.”
Then his sister was before her: “Do you want me to go and get a nursing mother from the Hebrews so she can nurse the baby for you?”
Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes. Go.” The girl went and called the child’s mother.
Pharaoh’s daughter told her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me. I’ll pay you.” The woman took the child and nursed him. After the child was weaned, she presented him to Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him as her son. She named him Moses (Pulled-Out), saying, “I pulled him out of the water.”"
Reflection. You never know where an act of compassion will lead. The Pharaoh’s daughter heard the baby Moses crying in the wicker basket-boat and 'her heart went out to him.' Apart from the immediate saving of a life it led to a Hebrew mother and her son being united, but also the mother being paid to bring up her own boy. The saving of Moses would have been more than enough, but with God there is always more than we would think of or imagine. St Paul reminds of this when he writes to the Ephesians in chapter 3.
We know where this compassion led to don't we? Well it led to ten plagues culminating in first-born death and murder....oh and the Parting of the Red Sea, Commandments, Desert Wanderings, Promised Land, Prophets, Jesus, the Cross, Resurrection, Ascension, The sending of the Holy Spirit, the Church....and YOU.
When was the last time we gave thanks for the Pharaoh’s daughter disobeying her dad and ensuring an infant Hebrew boy lives? This young woman played a vital part in God’s salvation story.
One amazing act of compassion. Her act of compassion is historic. What compassionate act will God call us to today? Will our hearts be touched? Where will compassion lead? Who knows...God knows!
Prayer. God of compassion, please keep my heart soft and my ears open to the cry of the belovèd. In Jesus's name. Amen.