Safety is on our minds of late. Perfect strangers have offered the words, “Keep safe,” to me dozens of times, and I have returned them. There is a reordering of all our priorities–why? To keep those most vulnerable safe. In many cases these are people at the end of life and/or with extenuating health challenges.
In the Old Testament of the Bible there’s a story you may have heard about Noah and the ark. The story can be summarized in the following way:
There was a good man surrounded by bad people. He heard from God that he should build a boat to rescue his family because a flood was coming. He did as he was told and all of his family escaped alive. The net result? The rescue of all humanity.
There’s another story in the Bible and it involves a princess and a slave.
The father of the princess had vowed to kill all the boy babies in his kingdom for purposes of ‘population control’, for lack of a better term.
One day the princess found a baby floating down the river in a basket. His mother, a slave in the kingdom, had made the basket and put him in it to protect the baby from certain destruction. The princess took him out of the basket, somehow talking her father into the idea, and raised him as her own. The net result? The rescue of a nation.
People in containers of different sizes being kept safe from calamity. Protection, rescue. That is what I see in these stories.
As a woman and as a mother I feel a great need to protect the vulnerable. Don’t you? There is a rising up in the world of a spirit of protection, a call to speak for those who have no voice. This is not an accident.
The physiological fact of the womb points to the feminine equipment to protect and keep safe. The spirit of the feminine is still alive and well as far as I can see.
I love these stories because they inspire far more than a daring rescue from water. As I see it the feminine principle is, among other qualities, protective by nature. What is an ark or a basket but a protective boundary between the vulnerable and catastrophe? (One could even think of masks?)
How do you build such a vessel?
First of all you must be the kind of person who builds with integrity. A poorly built ark will leak and sink. In order to protect your children, be the best human being you can conceive of, (pun intended). Do the things your nagging voice is telling you to do. Take care of yourself. Clean up. Eat well. Speak truth, not lies to those around you. Start small if you must and really that is what we all must do. No doubt you’ve already started. Keep going.
Don’t let the feeling of being a slave to your circumstances stop you. We are all slaves of some circumstance or other. Build anyway. Lives, and perhaps many more than you know, depend upon it.
How big should your ark/basket be? Consider the dimensions of your family. Is there room for a child who is big in personality? Special needs? Do you and your family have a great urge for creativity? Make room for this.
Create safe boundaries for your children’s behavior, and don’t let them leak! You are the builder of the ark. You decide. Anyone who’s ever watched young children poolside knows they can’t protect themselves. Children don’t know better, though they will act as though they do, and fight against the very boundary keeping them safe.
One could argue there is no greater challenge than to protect and provide for the vulnerable. As the individual, so goes the society. Do not underestimate your value as a mom.
Destruction and calamity are not in short supply. The world needs mothers who build arks.