“Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.”
These are Pharoah’s last words to Moses and Aaron in the Passover story.
When I went to the Maundy Thursday event, one of the things I said to the nice church ladies I was sitting with was, I felt like one of the great values of a festival like Passover and the ritual of the seder is that it transforms a potentially terrible event in the history of a people, of being enslaved, and turns it into a celebration of freedom. Instead of cursing what happened to us, we sing Dayenu, a song of gratitude, a song about our cup overflowing.
One the important tasks in front of us in our lives is to look at the traumatic things that happen to us, and be able to, as one 43thing goal states, “turn my past into compost”. To be able to take the terrible events that happen and say, not just, this was OK, or even, this was necessary, but to take it yet further, and see it as a blessing in your life.
Pharoah’s request sounds crazy: here he is, the instrument of the Israelite’s oppression, and his last words to them are, go out to your new place, and bless me. Bless me!
He asks for a radical forgiveness. This is not just, I forgive you for the terrible things you did to me, but I bless you for them!
Do I have this capacity, to do this, to say, not, “damn you”, not even just, “I forgive you”, but even, “Thank you for making me grow”?
Talk about true liberation! 6 years ago