The first pale crack of sunlight peaks through iron bars. Your roll over and brush off the smudge of mud and dirt on your elbow, rising up to a sitting position. The air is stale and quiet. There was evening, and there was morning. The 1442nd day.
Three – going on four – years you have been in this prison. You were the star employee of a wealthy Egyptian whose spouse falsely accused you of rape. Years ago, in a happier time you scarcely remember, God promised you that your brothers and even the celestial bodies would bow down to you. Every few weeks, you feel like maybe you hear a gentle whisper from God, telling you that he is there with you. At first, it was almost a nuisance, a little piece of cognitive dissonance you could not possibly reconcile. “If God is with me,” you reason, “then why can’t he seem to get me out of this place?”
With a thin stub of chalk, you make one more mark along a wall littered with white marks. “I guess no good deed goes unpunished…”
Yet then, like a gentle, quiet breeze in the stifling dungeon air, your hope returns to you once more. If God, the God of your fathers, had planned to let you rot to death in this prison, he would have just let you die in the pit where your brothers threw you, right? This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we are talking about. Your great grandfather waited 25 years with the promise of God, a son, even after your great grandmother was long past the age of childbearing. Surely he has a plan, and surely he is with you.