Posted by: JennyRain | September 9, 2007

A Well of Water: Part I

Sent…

Sent away as if their lives were meaningless. A pack of food and a skin of water from her master that was supposed to last them throughout the journey. The sun burned through her thin cotton head covering and soaked through the thick black hair as the hot sand wrapped around the edges of her sandals and scalded her toes. Her feet were covered with weathered calluses from the last two weeks of wandering through the desert of Beersheba but occasionally the sand would strike at a bare spot that had not yet been toughened by the arduous journey.

Hagar longed for an oasis in the desert, a comforting place for she and her son to find respite from the heat. Her heart ached for some direction. It felt like they had been wandering for days.

She had run away once, and then returned. This time, it was her master that sent her away for her safety, and that of their son.

Hagar looked at her son as he walked determinedly, never missing a step. She was glad for his company and the joy he brought her. Ishmael was a bright spot in what otherwise would have been Hagar’s invisible existence. No husband and relegated to service from the time she was born, Hagar’s identity had always been defined by how well she performed rather than who she was. She felt as if no one really knew her. Her dreams, her heart… they stayed hidden behind hands of service and the majority of those she had come in contact with in her life did not seem to mind that fact.

She had longed for someone to know her…to see her heart…who she was…not only what she could do for them…her longing grew with every step until she reached a state of desperation that challenged her to forsake everything, let go, and give up.

“Mama,” Ishmael said, gently tugging and beckoning for her to join him under the shaded bush. She quickly turned away and walked on, her tear-filled eyes threatening to betray her intentions…


Born to Serve

In the beginning, the service came naturally for Hagar. She enjoyed her master and mistress. Her master had a gentle spirit about him and showed kindness to his family, friends, and even the occasional stranger. More than once she and her mistress had rushed to get a meal together when a forlorn and travel wearied sojourner showed up at their tent. Hagar loved to see the sparkle in her master’s eyes as he used the meal as an excuse to encourage the strangers. Strangers always seemed to leave the tent in brighter spirits than when they had arrived, as evidenced by the bounce in their step and the swing in their gait. Abram’s insightfulness about people was uncommon and he always had soothing words or a comforting psalm. It was as if his spirit was communicating something sacred… something that connected with each person in a way that was unique and meaningful.

Hagar tended to tip-toe more around her mistress. Sarai was known for bouts of volatility that could last for hours or days, depending on how involved her master decided to become in whatever event had caused the disruption. Hagar learned that if she remained invisible and performed everything that was asked of her, the chances for an outburst were significantly decreased. Hagar worked hard to keep the peace in her mistresses household and though she knew Sarai did not notice her efforts, Abram did.

Abram would frequently smile and nod approvingly as Hagar completed her daily tasks. Hagar had known only Abram and Sarai as family. Her own parents were killed by marauding bandits when Hagar was yet a baby. Abram took extra pains to make her feel like one of them instead of just a maidservant. Sarai seemed only to acknowledge Hagar when there was something to be done, and then the urgency in which the task needed to be completed at times overwhelmed Hagar. Her mistress always seemed to need things right away. What could she possibly need right this very minute?

Next week Part II.

All writings copyrighted by author 9.9.2007 (c)

 

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