Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The God who sees me

Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away. The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied.
The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.”
...thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said,
"You are the God who sees me."
...then Abraham prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards away.
"I don’t want to watch the boy die," she said, as she burst into tears.
But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”
Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. --Gen 21:14-20

God's faithfulness to Hagar, one who had been cast out and abandoned by God's own children, is, I think, one of the most beautiful examples of compassion and love in the bible. I was reminded of this kind of love when I read about Jesula, a homeless, pregnant woman in Haiti who had also lost hope.

"Forty-year-old Jesula was a homeless woman who slept each night at a church in Delmas, Haiti. She became pregnant by a man who abandoned her before her son’s birth, and she could not even afford to visit a doctor because she had no money.
Jesula felt desperate about her situation, but she could not find a way out. During the day, she wandered the streets of Delmas or visited old friends in the hope of getting something to eat. Usually she was disappointed in her search. In the evenings, she would head for the New Jerusalem Church where she slept using a pew as a bed and rags for blankets.
Having no one to turn to, Jesula grew more concerned for herself and her soon-to-be-born child. In her situation of hardship, she felt she was going to lose her mind..."
Read the rest of Jesula's story here: Homeless No More

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