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You can throw your life off track in any number of ways, but here’s my tried and true prescription. Note: If you’re looking for the fast track, scroll down to Step 4. Step 1 Focus on something missing in your life. What is it you want so badly? What do you need to fill that […]
It’s only a body. That’s what I said when we talked about death, mine in particular. I pictured my body in a bed (how often do people actually die in a bed?) and my spirit, the real me slipping away, suddenly untethered from its bodily constraints. Free at last. I won’t be there, I said. […]
Most of us are familiar with the story of the son who rejects everything he’s ever known to live what he thinks is the good life. He moves far away from home and spends his entire inheritance chasing his misguided dreams. Eventually his life choices have narrowed to sleeping with the pigs he feeds. When […]
Brain dead. Like anything dead, it seems so final. I’m sitting beside my father’s death bed. There’s that word again. Death. It’s why you say goodbye when you can. Why you say, thank you and I love you, over and over. So when the only sound is the shallow breathing of the ventilator and the […]
They’re a conservative Christian family. Church on Sundays, Bible reading every night. Born again. They’re looking for a church where their teen boys can fit in. But they’ve had a hard time finding a church that would accept them, one that isn’t a gay church, that is. I was talking to my old college roommate. […]
It was not her habit to eavesdrop, but when Abraham ran into the tent and said, “Sarah, get out your best flour and bake three loaves of bread, and hurry!,” when she heard him calling the servants to quickly slaughter the calf, she was curious. Who were these men who had appeared out of nowhere, and why was Abraham so eager to entertain them?
She had followed Abram on this crazy journey, leaving behind all her friends and her childhood home. She never imagined it would end this way.
Where in her life had she made the Wrong Turn? What had she done to deserve a barren womb? And where was God in all of this? What was the good of a God who controlled all things, if at best, he forgot you, or at worst, botched everything up?
Then the sun dropped behind the horizon, and in the darkness Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. The Lord himself was making a covenant with Abram that day.
Hagar had always been carried along by the current of other people’s lives. In Egypt she had been sold as a slave to the highest bidder. Abraham bought her and Sarah took her as her personal servant. They had brought her to Canaan, and then quite unexpectedly, her own body, her womb, had been called into service.
In the harem, Sarah waited. She waited to be called in to King Abimelech, or for someone — Abraham, God? — to come to her rescue. One day dragged into the next, and still nothing. God had said she and Abraham would have a child next year. Now Abraham had ruined everything. But why hadn’t God stopped him?