If you don’t know much about his early life, a summary might go something like this:
Moses was a Hebrew baby, born at a time when the Hebrew people were slaves to the Egyptians. Pharaoh didn’t like the Hebrews people and ordered all the Hebrew boys be killed. To spare his life, Moses was placed in a basket by his Mum and set afloat in the River Nile. He subsequently drifted right in to the hands of Pharaoh’s daughter. She saved him and took him as her own but allowed Moses’s own Mum to work as his nanny. Moses was raised in the house of the man who had ordered the execution of his entire generation. His own mother was present throughout his childhood but whether she revealed the whole story of his origin to him, we’ll never know. I’m pretty sure at some point Moses would have had an identity crisis. Was he Hebrew or Egyptian? Who was his family – those he lived with or those he came from?
I like the story of Moses because it resonates a little with my own. The last of six children, I was born into a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic mother and an anonymous father. After some social work intervention and an extensive two-year tour of the foster care system, by the grace of God I landed in the loving home of a Christian couple – these days known as ‘Mum and Dad’. I was raised as part of the local church and embraced lovingly by the extended church family. However, as a teenager I struggled with that age-old question of: “Who am I?” Despite being part of such a loving family, I often feared that I was biologically destined to end up like the rest of my family – struggling with addiction, or even in prison. The only knowledge I had of my past was what I’d been told. I had lost all contact with my siblings and, despite knowing they were not in good places, I harboured a fear that I was missing out on something by not being part of my original family. Thankfully, over many years I grew in the understanding that I was defined neither by where I’d come from or where I was going, but by who God had made me to be. There is so much security and also many challenges in that lesson alone.
So, back to Moses. While he was living as royalty the Hebrew people remained slaves – tortured and oppressed at the hand of the man who gave Moses everything he could want or need. I suspect Moses knew his roots because when he saw an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew slave he reacted in such anger that he ended up killing the Egyptian. Not a response I’d generally advocate, but nevertheless that’s what happened. I suspect that Moses felt an affinity with the Hebrew people – knowing that he himself could have been a slave or worse. Perhaps at times he felt conscious about being a traitor, maybe even ashamed of being classed with the Egyptian people and altogether conflicted about where his allegiance should lie. After running off to the desert he had a few decades to reflect on that position, before God eventually called him to go and lead the Hebrew people out from under Pharaoh’s rule and into their promised freedom.
Over the years my heart has ached for the thousands of children still in care, knowing that it could easily have been me – I could still be there. Rather than sit back and feel conflicted, I’ve decided to do something about it. I may not be Moses but I can at least be useful. So, I’m now working together with the adoption and fostering initiative Home For Good, to help serve the needs of children in the care systems. Following my EP launch, we’ll be touring the UK to challenge and support churches across the UK in making adoption and fostering a significant part of their ministries. Together we’ll be praying that we can bring children out of the care system by providing more homes and families for them to part of. Want to help? Just get in touch!
To find out more about adoption, and how you can get involved, click here.
(Image via Amie Aitken)