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 […]
So I found myself in the dressing room at Victoria’s Secret trying on the Bombshell bikini top. Now, I don’t have a problem with a little enhancement. Sometimes a little smoothing, shaping, or boosting can make a big difference. I believe in making the most of what you have. But there’s a point at which enhancement turns into something else entirely […]
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. […]
The kid in the first row, sitting up straight with hands folded, eyes on the teacher — that was me (long ago when students did such things). I know how to meet expectations. I can sense people’s expectations a mile away, and I have this morbid fear of disappointing anyone, of dropping the ball. This […]
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 […]
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?
God did things his way and in his time, and things were not always what they seemed. He could be trusted, but he was not predictable. This much he had learned, or perhaps was still learning. How could he explain this to Sarah? How could he expect her to hope again when he could give her none of the assurances she would expect?
“The serpent deceived me,” the woman said, hoping to mitigate what she was about to say next. “That’s why I ate it.” She was relieved when God turned his attention to the serpent.
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.
The woman had never paid much attention to the serpent, not that she could recall. He had stayed on the periphery, his voice interjecting occasionally, but always under the radar.
By the time she discovered the spring, her head was hot and throbbing. Dirt streaked across her face where her tears had mingled with the wilderness dust. Hagar sat down to rest, splashing the cool water on her face. For the first time since she left, she realized she had no plan.