"Let me not watch to see the child die." (Gen. 21:14-29)
A mother’s worst nightmare is to see her child die. Awakening suddenly in the dark night sends chills up a parent’s spine wondering if his/her child is alive. Hagar represents thousands of mothers, whose spouses left them after five, ten, maybe even fifteen years of marriage, or through natural causes. As the spouse leaves, he leaves behind perhaps a boy as tender as Ishmael, with a single income to financially support what was once a two-family income. The Hagar’s of this world, mothers trying to raise a boy or girl in this country are facing insurmountable odds. And what is more demoralizing is that some African American boys believe that they will not survive beyond the age of twenty-five! Oh yes, these mothers have a reason to ask God to not let them see their children die. This prayer request is direct and straight to the point, but it also says a whole lot to God. This prayer first reveals how despondent Hagar is as she envisions her life passing her by, remembering the harsh treatment of Sarah and the lack of support from her “baby daddy.” She is literally saying, “I have seen enough bad days in my life. God, let me not watch another bad day, let me not see my child die.” Hagar, as the old folks say, “Has been to hell and back.” Hagar in the end is looking for God to show her just one good day, one glimpse of hope that her baby boy will make it. Hagar is like so many mothers of today who are looking for hope, looking for that one good day. Keep looking, my sister, because one day God will do for you what he did for Hagar. “God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.” (Gen 19:21)
Reflection/Meditation: God I want to see you. I have seen some bad days. I have seen some good days. Today, let me see your face in this space I am in. Identify one spiritual gift that you see manifested in this story.
Identify one spiritual gift that you see manifested in this story.
Fear of the Lord
How did you see Hagar using your selective spiritual gift in this prayer/story?