I heard the most peculiar sermon about Moses this week. The experience left me mulling over the story and I saw something that both surprised and delighted me. That is the way that Moses had a coming out story.
First a bit of context for those readers who may not be familiar with the Moses story.
Moses was a Hebrew during the time when the Hebrews lived in Egypt. At the time, the Hebrews were the oppressed, marginalized and persecuted people. The Egyptians of the time made the Hebrews slaves and attempted genocidal population control of the Hebrew people. Through a peculiar Divine twist of fate, Moses was raised by Egyptian royalty.
He lived the first forty years of his life between two cultures, being Hebrew, but raised as Egyptian.
There came a day when he killed an Egyptian taskmaster who was oppressing a Hebrew slave. Shortly after this, he lived for 40 years in the desert in self-imposed exile. While he was there, he met God in the burning bush, then came back and led the Hebrews out of Egypt(See The Prince of Egypt for a musical recounting of the tale).
What I had not examined before was possible internal conflict of Moses. How aware was he that he was a Hebrew? How aware was the rest of the Egyptian court that he was a Hebrew? How connected did he feel to his people? Did he feel conflicted about not being able to live openly as a Hebrew? Did he feel isolated amongst the Egyptians because he was putting on an Egyptian-face but deep down he was Hebrew? Was Hebrew-ness something that he knew he was, innately, unswervingly, from a very early age? Did he know from childhood that he was “different” and no matter how hard he tried, he’d never fit into mainstream Egyptian-normative society?
If so, then when Moses stood up for his Hebrew brother by standing(severely) against the Egyptian oppressor, that would have been the moment he out-ed himself and declared who he really was. No more hiding for Moses. No more closeted Hebrew-ness.
The part I love about this story is everything that happened after Moses came out and began to live in accordance with who he was. Once he was out and not pretending to be anyone, he could meet God. God could speak through him. His people could be liberated. Charleton Heston would someday get a career defining role.
None of this would have happened in Moses lived a closeted life, pretending to be someone he was not. Because he was true to who God made him to be, millions of people throughout the ages have experienced freedom.
If you are hiding who you are, if you are pretending to be someone because of society around you, remember Moses.