I learned something from a friend today. Her story is pretty special. Let me tell you about her.
She is from Egypt. Not from a very wealthy family...if you could say she had family at all. When she was young she got sold...as a slave.
Must have been a bit frightening...being sold as a slave. Her master, though, turned out to be pretty nice. She helped his wife. The wife was quite pretty.
They traveled alot, her masters. So she saw alot of places. Even got to live in the Homeland for awhile.
All in all, not so bad.
This couple, they had no children. So the work load wasn't too terrible. But, even as old as they were, they kept talking about having a son. Oh really? They said their God had promised them.
She didn't know their God. But they sure seemed to like Him. Trust Him. Apparently they were traveling all over the place because He said to. Hmmm...it was very interesting.
One day, the old missus, suggested that she (the maid) sleep with the master. Never had this entered the picture before. Why now? He didn't argue too much. So she went...it was kind of weird. I mean, a girl dreams of her husband. But here, as a slave, she's given to her master. Not exactly dreamy...but certainly not the first time it ever happened. Besides, he WAS a good man. It would be okay.
She thought it was possible....but could she be sure? Pregnant? Yes. Just as her masters wished. She was pregnant.
But it sure wasn't easy...this being pregnant. She didn't feel so very good. And for what? For a baby that wouldn't be hers. It was her master's. She sure didn't feel good. What a mess. And who was to blame...Yep. The Missus. This was all her bright idea. Yuck.
It was hard to serve her now...carrying water, cooking, cleaning. She was heavy with a baby. Wasn't that enough already. Things were going allright until this.
To top it all off, the Missus turned mean. Really mean. She never did any of this before. My friend was a threat. The Missus could kill her. Now what?!?!?
In desperation, my friend fled. Into the desert. Alone.
... she came upon a Spring. And an Angel. He was looking for my friend. This slave from Egypt.
"Where have you come from, and where are you going?"
She spoke the truth. No sense in lying.
The angel said, "Go back. Submit." And he added, "...your descendants...they will be too numerous to count."
What? Was that a...blessing? She was a slave. She was a woman. But that IS what the Angel said. "HER descendants..."
The angel also said, her son (a BOY!) would be stubborn (oh good) and would "live in hostility." (Pause)
A warring son. A strong willed man. Born of her.
"...the Lord has heard your misery..." the angel had said.
She knew of many gods from her childhood. But this One was different. Here she was. Suffering. Alone. A woman. About to bear a fighting son. All perfect examples of the gods disapproval. But this God....
"Beer Lahai Roi," her desperate voice carried over the desert plain.
"You are the God who sees me."
And she added, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
When you know someone is watching...you can do admirable things...
Despite the struggle, she followed the One who sees and went back to the Missus. Submitted. Served. Labored and bore a son.
Her suffering continued though. The Missus did have a son. But she never warmed back up to my friend. The Master sure was kind. Tried to support my friend. But ultimately...she was just the slave and she got sent away.
Another desert, more desperation and then...another Spring. A drink of water. And a promise. The child would be a great nation. Warring. But great.
Problems with a promise. Encompassed by a God who sees.
I don't know what happened to my friend exactly. She raised her son. Found him a wife. He became the father of a great nation.
And her...well. One thing is for sure. She was never the same...this slave from Egypt. Used, rejected by men, forced into single motherhood....
And seen. Sought out. Found. Promised.
She knew His Name. And spoke it.
Yep. I'm absolutely sure. She was never the same.
And because of her story...today...neither am I.
"Beer Lahai Roi!" Praise be to Him!
(Story and quotes taken from Genesis 16:1-16 and Genesis 21:8-21)