Like Father Like Daughter
Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. … She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew’s children.”
I’m moved by those accounts in the Gospels where our Lord walks past some helpless beggar on the street and pities him. Or when He meets Mary and Martha at the tomb of Lazarus and weeps over their pain. Or when He looks out across the sea of hapless masses and calls them sheep without a shepherd. Or when He turns around to the very sadists who just beat Him to a pulp and whispers, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It strikes me that the devil knows nothing of pity, because pity is a wholly divine quality. Think about that, friend. Devils exploit the weak to gain money and power and influence. They live by a scorched-earth policy, a survival of the fittest ethic, a king-of-the-mountain rule of thumb, and they never shed tears for the lives they burn in their wake. They laugh and scoff at their victims. They keep tally. So I’m convicted as I ponder the drastic difference between compassion and callousness, between the truth that sets captives free and the lie that keeps them bound, between ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ and ‘love thyself above all else,’ because it’s that wholly godlike virtue of pity that makes all the difference. And, for me, it’s easy to stand with Elijah at Mt. Carmel and taunt Baal-worshipers for their lunacy, and sing and dance with David in the face of a judgmental crowd, and lift our arms with Moses so that people can make their way safely through the sea; but to look at those basket-case souls in society today who are whining at the top of their lungs, directionless and fatherless as ever, to see past their raging ideologies to the helpless child crying out beneath is difficult. That takes godlike courage, and I’m not quite there yet.
Friend, this Egyptian princess isn’t the finished article yet. She’s still got a long way to go in her faith journey. But she joins those God-fearing midwives and Moses’ God-fearing mother as the heroines of this story so far, because she shares her heavenly Father’s compassion.