By Kit Fynaardt
Before continuing, watch this video. It’s only six minutes long.
Goosebumps, right? The burning bush is certainly one of God’s most dramatic miracles, and there is much to analyze and discuss about how the film Prince of Egypt handled the scene. But I’d like to draw your attention to a single detail, a detail that represents one of my most important steps as a Christian. Open the video again, and skip ahead to when God says, “I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry…” Listen closely.
Did you hear it? After this line, a cry of pain can be heard from an old man beneath a slave driver’s whip. However, you can also hear Moses. You can hear Moses saying “Stop it! Leave that man alone!” This is more than a vain attempt to ease a man’s suffering. Moses is saying to himself: “No. No, this is not good enough. This is not what the world is supposed to look like. This pain is not okay, and I am going to raise my voice in a cry so that it will stop.” Moses’ words were a prayer, and God heard them. “I have heard my people’s cry.” God says. “Moses, I have heard your cry. I heard your prayer that this is not right. I heard you crying out for things to be better.”
Every year we hold a service at ARC where we allow the high school and middle school youth groups to design and run the service. It’s a chance for the adults take a step back and hear a message from the youth, and it was a chance for me to hear my little brother Gideon, a sophomore in high school at the time, say something profound. What he said was this: “Humanity’s greatest ability is the ability to be discontent. To say, ‘No. No, this is not good enough.’ To fight for something so that tomorrow can be better than today.”
The words brought me to tears. Words from my own little brother, who’s knowledge and wisdom surpass my own. That day, God showed me my prayer. This is my prayer. This is our prayer: “No. This is not what God’s creation is supposed to look like. Our leaders use hateful and discriminatory rhetoric. Toxic masculinity is rampant among young people. Political issues divide family and friends.” Until there is peace and goodness we will cry out to God in prayer until the Lord comes again. God calls us to be discontent. God called me to use my greatest ability to work toward a future that is brighter and more Christlike than the present, and no matter how hopeless it may seem, I know God is with me.