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  • Allison Wilcox

Kindness to the Enemy

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.


The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.” ~ Exodus 2:1-10


It is hard to think of a baby as an enemy, but for Pharaoh's daughter, that's what this child was. Of course, he was an enemy simply because her father had made him so - not by his own choosing.


But her kindness to Moses could have come at a cost to herself. At best she could have been ostracized by her father. At worst, killed.


Sometimes doing the kind thing, the right thing, does come at a cost.


Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian women whose kindness during WWII cost her her freedom. She and her family hid Jewish refugees and were imprisoned, where both Corrie's sister and father died. Yet, she never wavered on her belief in doing what was right.


Being kind to those who are an enemy - those we don't like, those who were are told to hate, those who are different from us - often goes against the norm. Especially in these polarized times.


Who are you challenged to treat with kindness?


Holy God, move me toward justice, mercy, and humility in all my dealings with your people. Amen

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