Her screams filled the air as my mother tensed with the pain of labor. “Aah!” “Miriam! Come quick! Run to the midwife and tell her the baby is soon to arrive!” cried my father.
I peer around the doorpost for a quick glance at my mother. Apprehension and excitement line her eyes as she prepares for the arrival of our newest family member. I quickly run from our home in search of the midwife named Shiphrah. A baby is ready to enter this world and I am responsible for getting the little one’s help. The surge of protectiveness rising in me stirs a new feeling of power. What will Shiphrah think when she sees me running up to her home? Will she know our baby is coming? Will she be gone?
I cry silently in my heart, “O, LORD Almighty, help!” As my feet touch her front yard, I double over gasping for air. I can barely speak from the adrenaline pumping through my veins. My eyes focus on the dirt below to find two tiny feet appear. I stand up and look into the midwife’s face only to see my breathless expression reflected in her eyes. The smile caressing her cheeks hints that she knows a baby is coming! She immediately gathers a few personal items and the two of us rush off to the side of my mother.
“I want you to hold your mother’s hand and wipe her forehead” Shiphrah says as she calmly begins to minister to my mother and nudges my father away. As I rub my mother’s hand, I decide in my heart that I really like Shiphrah. “AHH!” My mother squirms beneath the pain. Hot tears roll down my face as I watch my mother struggle to birth the life within her. Tremendous awe captures my soul as I witness the forging of a new life. As intense emotions rage on my mothers face for this baby, they mirror my heart. To be so wanted, so loved that my mother would subject herself to the anguish born on her body causes me to tremble from head to foot. With one great push and a scream that turns into a moan my mother births a baby—boy.
My heart cries out a prayer, “O, No dear LORD not a boy!” Pharaoh wants all baby boys thrown into the Nile. My parents will not do this. How will we keep him safe? The midwife hands the squealing babe to me. I hold him in my bare hands not yet cleaned from his entrance to this world as she clips his life cord separating him from my mother’s food supply. I do not know how this baby came to be, but I know with all that is in me, I will protect him onto my death.
His dark eyes squint at the light of day, his first glimpse of Egypt’s sun. He has a thick patch of hair upon his head that contrasts his fresh baby flesh, free from the bronzing of the sunrays after endless days of hard labor in the scorching sun. I watch his feeble attempts to struggle against the air of this new world he has entered. I realize a depth of love as never before. I make a silent vow that I will be his protector. Isn’t that what sisters are to do? Protect!
Mother reaches for our baby and begins to coo to him songs of sweetness. His little body begins to relax and cuddle into her warm and soothing lullaby. I sit mesmerized by the wonder of a mother and child. A hunger for that bond swells up within me. I reach over to caress his little arm. Our baby is so tender and smooth. I bend over to kiss the top of his head. His hair kisses my lips with the softest sensation. As I inhaled his baby scent, I whisper to my mother, “I just want to nuzzle and cuddle him all day long.”
My parents pass a look between them that make my arms crawl with flesh bumps, as I remember the edict against all baby boys. We begin to conspire how we will protect him from such an ugly fate. I decide to memorize his face.
For nearly ninety days, we cover his cries with coughs, his squeals with our laughter, his coos with our songs, all with the intent of keeping him hidden. With each passing day that I cover the signs of a child living in our home, my intensity for protecting our baby increases. I have never in my life felt more trusted, wanted or needed than when I watch over our baby.
Excerpt taken from REDEEMED TO PRAISE, p. 10-11