Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Parenting Like Moses’ Mother

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I read the story of Moses in the Quran, and how his mother placed him in a basket (in Arabic it says tabout which implies something more closed like a tomb) and into the Nile, instead of allowing the pharoahs to kill him (apparently they would kill male Hebrew children at the time). (story on Wikipedia, similar in Judeo-Christian tradition).

I used to read that story and think it’s a miracle that she had that intuition, or that divine revelation, that her child would be ok, that she was placing him in the hands of God, and God would protect him. And God did. He was raised with the pharoahs (in Islam it was pharoah’s wife, it may be different in other stories) but his mother was reunited with him as his wet nurse (the story in the Quran is how Moses’ sister followed him and was able to help make that connection).

Anyway. It occurred to me yesterday that this story isn’t as crazy as it sounds. In the sense that, in reality, parents throw their kids into God’s hands on a regular basis.

Obviously, for people who believe, every breath a human being takes is a gift from God. Anything can happen to a loved one while we are next to them or even holding them in our arms.

But every time we leave our child – at daycare, at school, with a family member or babysitter, we are trusting in God to protect them when we can’t (even though when they’re right there with us, they are still in the hands of God, and we can’t protect them without Him anyway).

So…yeah. I wouldn’t throw my child into the river like Moses’ mother, but I understand that feeling of putting your child in God’s hands and just letting go…trusting in God to protect them and return them to us, safe… Because, really, what else can you do?

One Comment

  1. Actually, you just might if you knew it was the only chance your child had to live! At 3 months old it had to be torture for her, which is why she sent her daughter, Miriam, to watch over him. In the Judeo-Christian version is it Pharaoh’s daughter, but I don’t think it really matters. Can you imagine the woman who fished him out of the water? Moses’ mother risked her life to hide him, risked his life to safe him, and then the royal woman risked HER life to take him in. The whole story makes me wonder in awe at how God watches over the children He loves so much. Even though awful things happen because of all the evil in the world (I mean, Pharaoh WAS killing all the male Hebrew babies), I still believe that the character of God is love. Evil people exist because free will is a gift of a loving God, and He allows them to choose their own way. And innocent people do suffer at the hands of evil men, but I think those who do are given an extra measure of comfort in the afterlife, much like a mother wraps up her frightened child who has had a bad dream.

    Then, when our children do grow up, they begin lives of their own, and they fly from our care, but not from our hearts, and never from the eyes of God. And that, my dear friend, is a great comfort.

    Peace, Salaam, Shalom upon us all

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