If We Survive the Night

For weeks, things have been happening. The water turned. The locusts came. Then the darkness. For three days the sun disappeared. Life has been turned upside down.

Topic: Theology

I’ve been fiddling with this brush for hours.

I’ve washed it four times and still can’t wipe the blood from my mind.

For weeks, things have been happening. The water turned. The locusts came. Then the darkness. For three days the sun disappeared. Life has been turned upside down.

And now this. Sitting here in the dark of night. She’s been so strong. My wife forced her tears back tonight as we ate. She kissed him on the head once and held him close—I thought she would break. He knows something’s going on. He has always been a sharp boy.

In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

Moses sounded so sure when he told us what to do. Slay the lamb and eat its flesh. Spread its blood upon the doorway of the house.

Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

He is growing so quickly. Eleven springs gone, and now there’s gray in my beard as his has yet to come in. A few more years now. He’s learned much watching me and working beside me at home. I’m so proud of him and pleased when he joins me during the day. “How tall he is!” my friends say. “You look like your mother—how lucky you are,” they tell him. So much promise.

Three little ones in our home now. If I go, he’ll have to take care of them. He’s strong with a good way about him. I’m confident he can do it.

If we just survive the night.

The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

My wife hasn’t let go of my hand for the last few hours. She’s finally fallen asleep. We’ve been sitting on the floor since sundown, and I can’t quit staring at the front door. I can’t rest. I can’t sleep. Not tonight.

My boy.

The blood of the lamb.

The darkness outside.

It’s almost too much for me to hold inside.

My heart is full of fear, hope and love for my family—for my son.

Moses said this is the Word of the Lord and that He will deliver us—that tonight our homes will be passed over—that my boy will make it through the darkness.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.

He said the Lord will bring freedom to us, His people. He said that the Lord is making a covenant to us. Soon, we will no longer be slaves.

The lamb had been with us in the home for a few weeks. With hyssop, I spread its blood on the doorpost. We ate its flesh as we stood, dressed to run once we were done.

The hyssop is stained now; it won’t be free of the blood.

The house is quiet; all I can hear is my son’s breathing while he sleeps.

Cries pierce the night. Mothers. Fathers. Cries of terror, sadness and deep loss.

Midnight.

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

My wife awakes with a fright. My son stirs.

The Lord has passed over us; the blood of the lamb has covered us.

The Lord is delivering His people. 

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

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