people lose sight of things. they get emotionally charged. they ” their ability to see: to have vision.
for the jewish new year, rosh hashonah, a torah story is read. the story is about abraham’s concubine, hagar, and her and abraham’s son, ishmael. in the story, abraham, at the request of his wife sarah, send both hagar and ishmael away.
genesis 21: 14 states and ” abraham arose early in the morning, and he took bread and a leather pouch of water, and he gave [them] to hagar, he placed [them] on her shoulder, and the child, and he sent her away; and she went and wandered in the desert of beer sheba. and the water was depleted from the leather pouch, and she cast the child under one of the bushes. and she went and sat down from afar, at about the distance of two bowshots, for she said, “let me not see the child’s death.” and she sat from afar, and she raised her voice and wept. and god heard the lad’s voice, and an angel of god called to hagar from heaven, and said to her, “what is troubling you, hagar? fear not, for god has heard the lad’s voice in the place where he is. rise, pick up the lad and grasp your hand upon him, for i shall make him into a great nation.” and god opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the pouch with water and gave the lad to drink.”
in this passage, god is not a miracle maker. he didn’t suddenly make a water well. it was there. hagar simply needed to remove her emotions and fear to be able to see it. in the passage, god eases her fears by assuring her child’s destiny. once her emotional needs are satisfied, she is then able to see the important things in life.
currently, forces in our society that churn your emotions. media, social media, politicians, and social activists seek to tap into your emotionality. they seek cause anger, anxiety and depression. their purpose in doing so is to cause you to lose your vision of the world. they try to take you away from seeing what really is occurring and what is present. they are trying to take your vision away that can be used to improve the lives of both you, your family, and your community.
what is amazing with respect to the story is that it touches on the victimization phenomena. hagar a concubine with a son who was dismissed from her family, was one of the most vulnerable persons imaginable on the planet. the master of the universe heard her voice and took care of her and her son. access to god is for all, especially those who are vulnerable. hagar took herself into an understandable emotional state based upon her real and actual victimization. she, however, was able to get out of this victimization state when she was reassured that god had her and her son’s back. only when her faith was restored was she able to see what was there. she was capable of saving herself and her child. no miracles were needed.: just faith that the master of the universe had a plan for her family.
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