Exodus 2:5-10

An attendant for Pharaoh’s daughter draws the baby out of the water, so his name becomes Moses. But what is her name? 

I’ll call her Gladys, because the Gladys I know taught tiny hands to write their names and tell their stories. They went on to become teachers, and lawyers, and preachers, and people with big names, but only after she drew them out of the water. 

I could also call her Kathy. Kathy served students meals, smiled at them, and remembered their names when no one else acknowledged their existence. They stood tall when their names were called at their graduation, partly because she drew them out of the water. 

Or maybe her name should be Julie. Her parishioners might have expected to sit idly in the pews like they always had, but her radical welcome and life-giving sermons drew them out of the water. 

Karen seems fitting. Karen was the first to welcome them to an open table when they were navigating life in a new country. Karen called to check on them when she knew they were missing home. They found new life in a strange land because she drew them out of the water. 

Her name could be Anna, Mary, JoAnn, or Janet—names of fearless women I have known who have drawn beloveds out of the water through their unwavering compassion. 

As my Hebrew Bible professor, Wallace Hartsfield, once told our class, “Moses might have grown to deliver the Hebrew people, but first the women delivered Moses.” 

A royal attendant draws the child out of the water. But what is her name? 


Who has drawn you out of the water?


God, while we pray for the current to be gentle and the water shallow, we also pray that you sustain us as we draw each other out of the water. Amen.

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