Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sabs vs. The Plagues of Egypt

  • The story of Moses freeing the children of Israel from their captivity to Pharaoh is one of the most epic stories of all time (and I mean that in the truest sense of the word).  It is a story shared by many branches of many faiths. The fantastic songwriting of The Prince of Egypt combined with excellent animation to create one of the more emotional renditions of the tale. And who can forget Charlton Heston coming off of Mount Sinai, throwing the stone tablets into the Golden Calf to a shower of 1956 special effects?   
Well, fittingly enough, at the start of this Passover season, my life has shown some strange parallels (some more direct than others) to one of the most dramatic and re-told portions of the epic tale:  the Plagues. 

For those who are unfamiliar, the Lord directs Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask him to let the Israelites go. When Pharaoh refuses, some cool things happen involving snakes and walking sticks, but Pharaoh still refuses. The Lord then sends ten plagues to the people of Egypt, which culminate in Pharaoh demanding the Israelites leave, changing his mind, chasing them, and the famous parting of the Red Sea.
 Anyway. The plagues--

These did not happen in order, nor nearly to the extent of times of yore. This is not intended as blasphemy; I just found it rather humorous. I don't have all ten (some have been consolidated).

  •  Plague of blood (דָם): Ex. 7:14–25: This is one of the most obnoxious ones, so we'll get it out of the way first. For those that don't know, I've had some crazy internal bleeding business going on for some time now. Not life threatening; mostly obnoxious and painful. Add this to being a woman, and there has been a recent lack of iron in my system, eh.  

  •  Plague of frogs (צְּפַרְדֵּעַ): Ex. 7:25–8:11:No, there have not been a bunch of amphibians jumping around here. For this to make sense, I submit to you a saying of wisdom, presented to me by a loving Young Women's leader on my 16th birthday: "Remember--you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!" (this sage advice was, of course, accompanied by a giant stuffed frog).  So, in that sense of the word--yes. Too many frogs. 

  • Plague of lice or gnats (כִּנִּים): Ex. 8:12–15 Plague of flies or wild animals (עָרוֹב): Ex. 8:20–32:  Alright, so, twice in the last month I have opened a container in my kitchen or food storage and found bugs. Now, I don't mind bugs in their natural habitat, but the minute they show up in my kitchen, I go all Exterminator on them.  And I don't stop until I've found them all and killed them dead. I replaced ALL of my powdery/granulated kitchen goods earlier this month (flours, sugars, salts) due to such an infestation; yesterday it was the pastas and cake mixes (curses on me for buying cake mix).  I could not figure it out--especially the second one--because I store everything in food safe, sealed plastic. But the bugs were everywhere, and my food storage was promptly in the trash. As I cleared everything out, I found a large crack in the floor, from which the Small Beetles of Hades were pouring forth. 
  • Spoiler:  They died. Mass insecticidal murder.  And I didn't lose a bit of sleep over it--though I did lose a lot of foodstuffs. :-/ 

  •  Plague of pestilence (דֶּבֶר): Ex. 9:1–7: "Pestilence" in this case being "Contagious disease."  My body can't decide if it's about to get sick or not; the scratchy-throat, stuffy-nose, ear-hurting-ness that often accompanies the cold keeps trying to sneak in.  Hopefully my body will win the battle this time.  See also "Locusts"

  •  Plague of boils (שְׁחִין): Ex. 9:8–12--THANKTHELORDABOVE that I am not actually dealing with real boils. Ugg those things are NOT FUN.  However, I did manage to get 2nd degree burns all over the first half of my dominant hand (thumb, index, middle fingers all lost skin and prints and fun stuff like that).  Occupational hazard; I have been blessed with accelerated healing, though. Still in bandages, but it's quite the adventure, really. The human body adapts really well--it never ceases to amaze me.

  • Plague of hail (בָּרָד): Ex. 9:13–35--IT SNOWED TODAY. It was nice and sunny and warm, and then the snow came.   Le Sigh.

  • Plague of locusts (אַרְבֶּה): Ex. 10:1–20--I'm lumping this in with the bugs mentioned earlier.  They were small and colonial like the gnats and flies, but they nommed the food like a plague of locusts. blerrg.
  • The results of these plagues included a famine throughout the land of Egypt.  The combination of my various health issues and having inflexible deadlines this week (Pi Day, for example) led me to not eat more than a piece of bread a day until about Thursday. Eating can sometimes make me sick, and I had to be sure to get things done in time...yeah...but it was fine because my house smelled awesome.  Self-imposed famine, and a very good thing,  and I got a ton done--but still famine. 

  • Plague of darkness (חוֹשֶך): Ex. 10:21–29--"Daylight Savings."  'Nuff said.

So, as I'm sitting there realizing these parallels, I start laughing.  It's just too perfect!  I laugh about it to myself for a while, then I realize the  next plague:  The firstborn dies!  Yes, technically it's the firstborn son--and I live in a house full of girls-- but as the previous plagues were properly modified to the modern time, I joked that I couldn't take any chances.  Still laughing at the humor of it all, I posted this to Facebook: 
"personal injuries, lost treasures, plagues, hoards of insects, famine, inclement  weather,darkness...I feel like I should find some lambs blood and put it on the door, so the firstborn roommate doesn't die... "

Kidding around, hardy har har. (And where am I going to find the blood of an unblemished lamb, anyway?  And there are all sorts of problems with BYU housing, and animal sacrifice laws, and what to do with the meat [seriously, there is not a single jar of mint jam anywhere to be found in this house]...anyway, all kinds of practical issues with that solution.)  

Or so I thought. 

When I came home from Church today, I found this:

They were lambs, printed off in red construction paper!  This one says "See Exodus 12," another lamb on the other side of the door post said "<3 your Facebook Friends!"

My friends are so fantastic!!

#My Life is Awesome

A bit of music to send you off: 

    "So let it be written--so let it be done."

    No comments: