landscape (acrylic on milk can)
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 […]
A response to Joe Bunting’s Fail Faster (So You Can Become a Better Writer). “Writers are terrible judges of their own work,” Joe said. The words resonated deep in the recesses of my soul. All my life, I was the student in the front row, needing that big red “A” to tell me I was […]
I wrote this in February, the month of Aunt Laura’s birthday, but just decided to post it today. One Easter, Aunt Laura, in her Sunday dress, pearls, white pumps, and classic white hair, knelt on the floor, nose to the ground, and showed the grandkids how to roll Easter eggs with their noses. I can […]
Nigger is a nasty word. Like any other word, there’s nothing offensive about those particular letters strung together. It’s the connotation, and this one has a history as ugly as any. It has been spit out with venom and hatred, with whipping, chains, and every kind of inhumanity. I don’t know how Paula Deen said […]
Our focus is on the downtrodden these days. Maybe it’s the media. Or the internet with its potent visuals making the world that much smaller. Maybe more of us are finding ourselves among their ranks, or dangerously close. Maybe the reality that it could happen to us brings it closer to home. Whatever the reason, […]
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.
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?
“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love … . Abraham’s heart had dropped to the pit of his stomach. He could feel the sweat cold on his temples, as he thought, “Lord, could this please not be a hard request, another stretching, another move beyond my comfort zone?” He had wanted to cover his ears, but he could not cover God’s mouth, and God had continued as if he had not known Abraham’s desperate thoughts, as if it did not matter.
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.
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?
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?