You have to understand

By Clarice Gille-Theys. Clarice, 59, is a freelance reporter from Swakopmund, Namibia. Please read her entry and leave your comments below.

The young princess cried out in delight: “What a beautiful boy!”

Her morning walk to the Nile River, where she takes her daily bathe, has turned into enchantment and she knew that life as she knows it, will by no means be the same again.

Never in her life had her eyes seen such a radiant picture. Clothed in white and warmly wrapped in a basket in a clump of reeds, there he was. His black eyes met her blue ones and instantly she knew this is it. Love at first sight.

Born into a Jewish family when Ramses II, the pharaoh of Egypt had ruled that all the Hebrew  boys were to be killed at birth, his mother, Yocheved, could not stand for her son to be brutally killed. After hiding him for a few months until it wasn’t safe for him anymore, she decided to rather place him in a basket along the sides of the Nile River in the hope that he will be found and adopted.

The princess felt compassion and called him Moses which means “I drew him out of the water”, and unknowingly paid his own mother, to nurse him after the baby’s sister, Miriam, suggested it to her.

This story of the baby left in a river is not unique to Moses only.  I remember the old story about the twins, Romelus and Remus who were born in Alba Longa, one of the historic Latin cities where Rome is today.

Rheo Silvia, their mother, was the daughter of the former king of this city who was displaced by his brother Amulius. When he became king, Amulius ordered the boys to be killed because he had seen them as a threat to the throne.

But fate prevails and instead of killing the boys, they were abandoned on the banks of the river Tiber and saved by the god Tiberinus. The boys survived and grew up as shepherds, totally unaware of their true identities. They were however destined for great things and due to their natural leadership skills and abilities, received enormous support from their new-found community.

Modern day war and conflict leads people to flee – mostly from war-torn Africa – to Europe. They flee from their own homes and from their families in the desperate pursuit of a better life. A life that ‘home’ can’t provide for them.

The majority of all refugees come from all over Africa to Libya which is the gateway to Europe. This migration process means sea crossing.

But not all are from war countries. Some are just anxious to escape the hopelessness of poverty and so thousands of migrants and refugees attempt the death-defying journey to Europe each year, with many crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa in rubber dinghies and wooden boats.

One can only imagine how strong that desire must be to put themselves through the misery of disease, possible drowning and never reaching Europe.

Some might get asylum. Some might be sent home and some will disappear into unlawful limbo.

The hunger for power and greed like in the case of King Amulius and the Pharaoh of Egypt still prevail today.

The harsh reality is that:

“You only leave home when home won’t let you stay.”

“No one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore.”

“No one would leave home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying leave, run away from me now.”

These are the words in the poem ‘Home’ by Warsan Shire, a British-Somali poet.

But those who choose to save lives, will never stop. Like Pharaoh’s daughter when she adopted Moses. Like the god Tiberinus when he saved the twins Romulus and Remus and the Doctors without Borders on the Mediterranean seas.

Since January 2014, approximately 15 million migrants have made it on the Mediterranean journey. More than 10 000 have died but you have to understand – ‘No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.’

89 comments on “You have to understand

  1. Clarice Theys on

    Thanks Martha! It was quite under pressure. Remember, I only heard about it when you posted yours. I also love yours! <3

    Reply
  2. Brigitte Cloete on

    I enjoyed reading this Beautiful Compilation of Hope – evident in the past, present and future of our Mother Earth, our Home.
    This brought tears to my eyes: ‘No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.’
    Thank you for sharing Clarice Gille-Theys, all the best!

    Reply
  3. danneleigh on

    This is such a beautiful description what happens to people who has no choice but leave their home. I can completely resonate with their plight. People want peace and stability in their countries. Then you find greedy politicians make the lives of their own people difficult to the point where war rules.

    Reply
  4. Louisa Beukes on

    I truly enjoyed this piece where you so skillfully take us on an exiting journey from the Bible story to where we ate today. A mothers love that does not fail.

    Reply
  5. Louisa Beukes on

    I truly enjoyed this piece where you so skillfully take us on an exiting journey from the Bible story to where we are today. A mothers love that does not fail.

    Reply
  6. André Izaaks on

    Crossing borders, Clarice reminds us of the human side of the migrants’ plight. Sometimes paying the ultimate price, these migrants are living testimony to the fact that every man has the right to decide his own destiny.
    Interwoven with this, two ancient anecdotes exemplifying the sanctity of life.
    Well done, Clarice.

    Reply
  7. Soraia on

    This piece is so well written and the illustration used to explain the peril that hits us today is beautiful. This piece made me feel like we should do more… It took a small glimpse into what the immigrants feel through your words to make me realize what a blessed life we have in freedom. Thank you for touching my heart with this xxxx

    Reply
  8. Bert Kwakkel on

    Well written Clarice, it’s so unfair how wealth is not being evenly distributed in our world. Africa and other parts of the world have been exploited for ages by the Western world and now, I think, we reap what we sowed. More and more people try to get to the wealthier countries, because they see no other way out of the poverty they live in.

    Reply
  9. Tony olivier on

    So mooi.So goed geskryf.Tong in die kies Clarice.Ek ondervind egter dat baie Rehoboth seuns juis nou verkies om onder ma se vlerk te skuil.Die feit dat baie verkies om nie te studeer maak my benoud.Dalk moet opsies buite grense oorweeg word net nie per vlot of vistreiler nie.Hou aan skryf.Jou stem smaak soos Basterpoeding

    T

    Reply
    • Clarice Theys on

      Dankie my ou skoolmaat. Ek waardeer jou terugvoer. En ja, daar sal opsies buite die grense oorweeg moet word.Ons sal hulle moet lei. Ons kinders is soms baie verdwaal

      Reply
  10. Uschi on

    I love the angle you used to lead us to not just understand, but to have compassion as well. That last quote just breaks open ones heart.
    Well done Clarice.

    Reply
  11. Ernie on

    There’s always the question of why people would put there life in peril when attempting to cross a treatcherous sea to seek asylum in Europe “No one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore.” explains it best.
    Thank you for making it so obvious.
    Wishing you all the best.

    Reply
  12. Teri Tuaire on

    “You only leave home, when home won’t let you stay”…..touched by that sentence! Deeply profound. Thank you for a great read

    Reply
  13. Gadija Nazier on

    Wow Lalla this story make me realize that we soon grow up all alone without our kids far far away. May God keep us all save. Keep it up Lalla. 🌹🌹

    Reply
  14. Bridgetti Lim Banda on

    Beautifully written Clarice! It’s hard for many to understand the position refugees find themselves in and you sum it up so well. We live in a world that has become cold and unfriendly towards strangers. Some have unbeknownst to them entertained angels, a rare privilege. Who would have thought that Moses would become such a great man to be used by God to free his people. May we be inspired to open our hearts and homes to “strangers” and perhaps open ourselves to blessings in the process.

    Reply
  15. Anicia on

    Thanks Clarice. I enjoyed reading this, especially recognising how hopeless a situation becomes when people are willing to risk it all. Keep on writing!

    Reply
  16. Sydney K de Bruyn on

    What was so profound to me was this statement “‘No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.’ Yes the water can be turbulent and shake the boat but no-one can stop destiny. This is where we get the word destination from. This means that every soul has been pre-programmed for destiny, but the journey can only be taken when the captain of our soul enters the boat with us. Like Joseph was cast down into a pit and was looking up towards his captors, this was part of part of his destined preparation to be exalted in the kings palace. Very soon his captors had to kneel and bow down as they looked up towards their liberator for redemption. No one can hold a man or woman of destiny down. Thank You Clarice. This was most inspiring and continue with the good work.

    Reply
    • Clarice Theys on

      Lol … no my darling … I think I’m quite versatile. When you’re a reporter first and foremost, you need to be able to do other genres as well. Look out for my next book which is pure fiction. I think you’ll also enjoy it! Much love

      Reply
  17. Christi on

    Your writing is always inspiring. Taking us back to the bible and linking it with today makes it poignant. Shows us that one never truly abandons home unless they have no alternatives. Great work.

    Reply
  18. Christi on

    Your writing is always inspiring. Taking us back to the bible and linking it with today makes it poignant. Shows us that one never truly abandons home unless they have no alternatives. Great work.

    Reply
  19. Christi on

    Your writing is always inspiring. Taking us back to the bible and linking it with today makes it poignant. Shows us that one never truly abandons home unless they have no alternatives.

    Reply

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