Footnote (tired feet) on Genesis 21

Everyone wants to be Hagar,
brave, resilient, probably beautiful,
a good mother,
a good pray-er who remembers
the time God gave her a sweet spring.

Everyone wants to be Hagar
because that’s the heart of the story,

but, when the parts get passed around,
this is who gets to be Hagar —
the ones who are enslaved,
cast out, vulnerable, lost,
sexually abused, thirsty or endangered.

The Hagar-people get the well.

It is historically accurate
that in many cases
the progeny of
the ensarahs and enslavers,
the casters-out,
those who endanger,
turn away from vulnerability,
blame victims, get excited
about protecting their own rights,
and ignore those thirsty
for a sip of hope,

often get the land.

The well is life,
but the land often ends up
just a mouth-full of dust.

Image from Art in the Christian Tradition — Vanderbilt University Divinity Library
Statue of Phillis Wheatley, The Boston Women’s Memorial   Notes:”Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.” — Psalm 86:16 In the scripture texts for today, both from Genesis and from Psalms, the need for God’s intervention is powerful in the lives of servants/slaves. This sculpture of the country’s first African-American poet reminds us that Hagar’s journey is one that has been repeated through millenia. Phillis Wheatley was born in Gambia in 1753. She came to the United States as a slave and was purchased by a Boston family who generously educated her. She became an accomplished writer and published a book of poetry, the success of which won her acclaim and soon after, her freedom. She married and had three children, none of whom survived infancy. 2003, artist Meredith Bergman

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1 Response to Footnote (tired feet) on Genesis 21

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