Kenan and Hagar – Conclusion

After the Angel of the Lord left Hagar, she sat down to think for a few minutes. Then she began to weep and pray, “Lord God of my master Abram, I am so sorry. I have felt so alone and angry. But, now I know that you are with me and watching over me. I will go back to my master Abram and my mistress Sarai and do as they bid me to do. Please forgive such a small one as me and help me to do better. Thank you for the promises you made to me here today. Thank you for seeing me.”

With that Hagar stood up and was just turning to head back to Abram’s camp, Kenan came along with a hunting party. They were also returning to the camp and with their catch.

“Hagar? Is that you”, came the voice from the top of a small rise.

Hagar turned in the direction of the voice and saw Kenan and two other men leading pack animals loaded with dressed meat for the camp.

“Kenan, wha…what…what are you doing out here?”

“We are returning from a hunt. May we escort you back to the camp?”

Hagar’s eyes looked toward the ground, “Yes, I would appreciate that very much. How…how are you? I have not seen you for awhile?”

“I am doing well. Master Abram has been keeping me busy hunting and guarding the borders of our camp. We have been having trouble with raiders from the East.”

He leaned down and looked into her eyes. Once he looked her in the eyes, she couldn’t look away from him.

He continued, “I have heard of the strife between you and Mistress Sarai. Is that why you were out here? Were you running away?”

She blushed and smiled at him, “You always could tell what was on my mind, even when we were younger. Yes, I kept finding myself jealous and angry with her. She finally stopped putting up with my antics and started being mean back to me, so I ran away. I was going to try to find my way back to my family in Egypt, but the Lord, the God of Master Abram found me in the desert and told me to return.”

She then told him the whole story of her encounter with God in the desert.

“It sounds to me like the Lord has a plan for your life, Hagar,” said Kenan who continued to look her in the eyes. Then he began shuffling his feet on the ground and kicking at a rock. “Look, Hagar, in spite of everything that has happened, I still want to be your friend. I meant it when I said I wouldn’t stop caring about you. So, can we still be friends?”

Hagar’s heart leaped within her; she blushed slightly and then smiled, “Oh, I would like that very much.”

Kenan smiled back and said, “Then I had better get you back to camp, my little friend. You have some bridges to mend.”

And off they went back to the camp.

So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael.  (Gen 16:15)

Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.  (Gen 16:16)

Kenan and Hagar – Part 4

Over the next few weeks, she felt less and less joyous.

“Here I am pregnant with my master Abram’s first and only child and I am still scrubbing and cleaning like a slave. Am I not his wife as much as my mistress Sarai? No, I am still a slave!” Hagar thinks to herself as she sees Sarai sitting with Abram on a bench in the shade of a tree one hot afternoon.

“Why am I still working while she is sitting under a tree? No, I am still a slave!”

“Am I not carrying his child?”

“I am better than her; I can produce a child while she cannot!”

“She is old and I am young.”

“She may have been some legendary beauty, but I am far prettier.”

“Why, Kenan once told me that my dark skin, lovely hair and flashing eyes outshone any woman he had ever seen! Hmmph!”

From that moment on, Hagar began to refuse to do all of her work.

She spoke ill of her mistress to the other slaves.

She laughed and called Sarai ‘childless one’ to her face one day when she was feeling particularly nasty.

Then Sarai, who had tried to be understanding about the whole issue, went to Abram with an ultimatum.

Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she is pregnant she treats me with contempt. The LORD will show who’s wrong—you or me!”

Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit.”

Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.

Hagar, carrying a light bag, was trudging along through the territory to the south-west of the camp. Seeing a spring of water, she stopped to refresh herself. Sitting on the ground and laying back against her bag, she began to wonder if she was going to be able to make it all the way back to Egypt. Suddenly someone else was there with her. She stood up quickly and turned to face the stranger.

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.”

And the angel also said, “You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.

This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”

After that, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God, who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?”

So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.

Kenan and Hagar – Part 3

Resentment took root and began to grow in her young heart.

At the marriage feast the following week, Hagar stood, dressed in finer clothing than she had ever worn before, in the midst of all of the guests feeling honored, but oddly out of place.

There was a line of people each waiting their turn to wish her well. After that was the meal. She was ushered to the head table and seated next to Abram. Sarai sat on the other side.

She saw Kenan eating with the other warriors and hunters. She even caught his eye briefly once, but he immediately looked away. She began to feel very lonesome and alone. She had lost her best friend.

A couple of weeks after the wedding feast, Hagar woke up feeling sick to her stomach. She wanted to throw up and, at first, she didn’t know why.

“Arpa, would you please tell my mistress Sarai that I am ill and will not be able to attend her today?” Hagar asked her friend and fellow slave. Arpa was an older woman that had always treated Hagar as if she were her daughter.

“What is wrong, my child? Are you feeling chilled or achy?” Arpa asked.

“No, it’s something wrong with my stomach. I feel like I want to vomit.”

Arpa walked over to where Hagar slept, knelt down and looked intently at her. Then with a knowing, thoughtful look in her eyes asked, “How many weeks since you were given to Master Abram as his wife?”

Hagar looked up into Arpa’s eyes, “almost three weeks now”.

Arpa rocked back on her heels, touched Hagar’s forehead and said, “I believe that you are fulfilling the role set out for you by your mistress Sarai.” Arpa suppressed a little giggle, “I believe that you are with child, little one.”

Hagar’s heart seemed to both stop and to beat out of her chest. She looked into Arpa’s eyes and said, “Pregnant? But… but… so soon? Oh!”

Hagar rolled back onto her bed holding her stomach first and quickly to her mouth.

“Ummph!”

Arpa stood and smiled, “Do not worry, my child. We will all be here with you during this blessed time. I will go and tell your mistress the joyous news.”

“Oh no, here it comes!” Hagar jumped up and ran out of the tent in a big rush to find someplace to vomit.

Kenan and Hagar – Part 2

Kenan left Hagar’s tent confused and a little angry. He walked quickly to his tent, tossed his cloak down on the floor and slumped down onto his bed. He lay in the dark, staring out the door of his tent at the stars, listening to the wind and tried to figure out what was going on.

“What’s wrong with her? Did I say something to make her mad at me?”

He thought about that for a minute and decided, “No, she didn’t sound mad, she sounded more like she was sad and confused by something. What could it be?”

Kenan lay down on his bed but only slept fitfully, dreaming about Hagar.

The next morning, Abram sent for Kenan. “Kenan, my boy, I want you to take a party of hunters over to the mountain sides in the south and bring us back some wild game meat. I want to have a huge feast to celebrate my new wife, Hagar.”

Kenan’s heart felt like it was going to burst out of his chest when he heard this, but he only said, “Yes master. I’ll take my hunters and bring back a lot of game for the feast.”

“Thank you, Kenan. I know that I can count on you.” Abram smiled and put his hand on Kenan’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze.

“I’ll get started right away,” Kenan said. He then smiled weakly, turned and walked away quickly. Within an hour, he and a party of three other hunters were loaded and headed south.

Hagar came out of her tent in time to see the hunting party head off. She thought she saw Kenan turn and look back at her briefly.

She thought back to when they first met. He was a striking young warrior that had survived the massacre of the five king alliance that included the king of Sodom where Abram’s nephew Lot and his family lived. Kenan had been one of Lot’s servants and had seen Lot and his family carried off by the victorious kings. He had arrived wounded, bloody and dirty from his journey to tell Abram the news. He had survived the attack of a wild boar and ended up eating it.

How her young heart thrilled at the sight of him then.

They become fast friends and, as they both grew up, something more was emerging from their friendship.

“But—that was then, and this is now,” she thought to herself. “That something is now lost forever.”

Her heart sank and then she headed off to her duties for the day. Being Abram’s new wife did not make her any less Sarai’s slave.

Resentment took root and began to grow in her young heart.

Kenan and Hagar – Part 1

The character of Hagar has always intrigued me. She seems to have been a tragic figure that played an important role in the life of Abram and Sarai. Here is my take on it. It is in draft form. But, that’s ok. You’ll get the idea. You may also remember the boy Kenan from the Abram goes to War story. He shows up again here, a bit older and smitten with a certain Egyptian servant.

“Hagar!” came the sound of a whispered voice.

Hagar awoke with a start and looked around her. She was still in her bed in the servant’s tent. She thought she had heard a voice while she was dreaming but, now, she could hear nothing except the rustling of the tent in the breeze. She lay her head back down on her pillow and closed her eyes.

Just as she was beginning to drift off to sleep again, the sound came again.

“Hagar!” came the whispered voice again.

She propped herself up on her elbow and looked around trying to decide what she heard and where it was coming from.

“Hagar!”

She heard it clearly this time, and it was coming from outside the tent near her head.

“Who are you and what do you want?”, she whispered back, annoyed that someone would do this while she was trying to sleep.

“Hagar! It’s me, Kenan.”

“Kenan!?! What do you want? It’s the middle of the night!”

“We were supposed to go for a walk last evening. I couldn’t find you. Where did you go?”

“That’s none of your business. Now, go away, I’m trying to sleep!”

“Selvi said she saw you coming out of Master Abram’s tent, very late.”

Hagar paused and then said, “I was doing something for my mistress Sarai.”

There was another long pause and then Kenan said. “What?”

“That’s none of your business! Now go away!”

“Hagar! Selvi said she saw you crying when you came out of their tent. I want to know what’s wrong. Listen, Hagar, I care about you. If something is wrong, I want to help.”

“Kenan…go away. I…just…can’t see you anymore. Now, please leave me alone. I’m tired and want to sleep.”

“Well, all right. If that’s the way you want it. I’ll go. But, Hagar, I won’t stop caring.”

Hagar could hear Kenan’s footsteps moving away. She buried her face in her pillow and sobbed “Oh, Kenan…”.

Abram Goes to War – Part 4

It seems that overnight Abram had assembled a small army of over three hundred trained fighting men from among his own people and his allies Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre. He was preparing for a mission to rescue his nephew Lot and his family. One of the men standing near Abram noticed Kenan standing there said something to him and then pointed in Kenan’s direction. Abram turned, looked in his direction and then called him over and said, “Kenan my boy, we are going to rescue my nephew and his family. With all that you’ve been through in the few days, are you interested in coming along?”

“Yes, my lord” Kenan responded quickly. “How soon do we leave?”

Abram laughed and slapped him on the back, “That’s what I like to hear. We leave within the hour. Get yourself some food, pack up your gear and meet us here when you are done. And wait, one more thing. Hagar?”

A pretty young girl came running, “Yes master?”

“Get our healer to take a look at this young man’s leg and get him ready to travel.”

The girl looked at Kenan, smiled and said, “Yes my lord, immediately.” She then grabbed Kenan by the hand and pulled to a large multicolored tent.

When they got inside, Kenan saw an old man seated at a table with a large number of branches and leaves hanging upside down above it. The old man seemed be crushing some dried leaves.

The girl spoke loudly, “Uncle Javan, father Abram wants you to take care of this man’s leg so that he can travel with the rescue party.”

The old man turned around, looked at Kenan and said, “Hmmm, he’s got quite a nasty gash there. Is that from a sword, young man?”

“Yes sir, it is. I was in a battle several days ago.”

“Sit here and let me take a look at it. Hagar, you’ll have to let go of his hand now.”

Hagar quickly released Kenan’s hand, stepped back and looked embarrassed.

The old one laughed and then spoke to Kenan, “I’m afraid she’s taken a liking to you young man. Now, let me take a look at that leg. Oh, it’s not as bad as it might have been. You washed this out didn’t you?”

Kenan replied, “Yes sir, I did. I camped near a river a couple of nights ago.”

“Well I’ll make a poultice from these leaves here and bandage you up. You’ll be as good as new in a few days.

As soon as Javan was done applying the poultice and the bandage he said, “There you go young man. You’re healthy and you’ll heal quickly.”

“Thank you, sir!”

Kenan turned to go and caught a glimpse of Hagar peeking into the tent. She quickly pulled he head back when he saw her. As soon as he got outside he looked around and couldn’t see her anywhere, then he took off running to get his things together and get some food. No sooner had he arrived back at the rendezvous that they left.

Introducing an outline…

One of my Facebook friends asked this morning what our imaginary friends were doing today. I replied that “I think they are deciding if they want to play with me or not. They have been strangely silent for awhile.”

After thinking about that and doing some additional research on outlining (prompted by K.M. Weiland’s book “Outlining Your Novel”, I decided to start an outline even if I wasn’t sure how to go about that properly. I mean I have read her book with great enthusiasm but, I am a person who wants to see sample outlines that I can copy from. I have created lot’s of outlines for other things but not for my writing.  I felt stymied.

Then I just decided to dive in even if I might not be doing it “right”. That was something I saw in her book. To paraphrase, just do what works for you. I have one started now. We’ll see where it ends up.

I just updated that thread with: “Ok, I decided to force them to talk by starting an outline for a series of four stories based on Hagar the mother of Ishmael. They’ll soon crack under the pressure. HA! HA! HA!”

We’ll see if the joke is on me or them.