His family gave him away to strangers. He never fit in. He ached and raged to see people in pain, but his endeavours to help ended in murder. His stepfather then attempted to kill him. Disinherited, friendless, banished, utterly alone, he escaped to a desert. There, he lost himself. The stranger from Egypt melted into anonymity, groomed aristocrat turned tent-dwelling wanderer.
So he settled into silence, content to be alive, wishing for nothing more. A wife, a son: she, christened after a small, flitting, insignificant bird, and their son called stranger in a foreign land. Drab, colourless, predictable, and safe, his life turned into shadow, at the very back of the barren desert.
He was made for more, craved it deep inside: the kind of hunger words cannot express, the longing the hurts more than pain, the exquisite ache for joy. Life remained silent, and he did not speak. What was the point? How could he articulate the throbbing wound, the sting calling for greater healing? He spoke a long time ago, and was rejected, accused, exposed as impetuous, foolish, rash. He would not be refused now, but there was no one to listen, just his flock to lead and guard and feed and hit over the head.
A failure, outcast, refused son, he groped for significance in his labour. At least he could still work. He took his charges, and contented himself to live in dusk.
But hope scorches deeper than despair, a perpetual burning not sedated by mountains of ash or grotesque, charred remains. So, he looked, shed silent tear, heaved unheard sigh. And he saw. And he turned out of his way to see closer. And he climbed and grunted to gaze and muse and figure out why.
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses!” Man drawn from watery death, man rescued from infant genocide, man adopted, man loved enough to salvage.
Before him danced hope, the ever-burning fire, all-consuming, yet not consuming the one it possesses. The voice, calling him into identity, connecting him with past and present and future. He called, and called forth a man. Moses had no position to protect, no empire to lead, no treasure to guard. He spoke the words that make a man, the only words he could say to this God: Here I am. These words make a man.
He looked, only to discover that God had been watching him the whole time, waiting to see if he would notice, if he would seek, if he would exert effort to search.
God waits for me, watching to see if I will turn aside and seek Him, waiting to reveal Himself to me.
O God, help me detour to see and savour and experience You in the hidden, forgotten places today.