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Tamaligi, Apia
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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Monday 16  September
Hagar waits for her child to die

 

Read Genesis 21:8–19
So Abraham … took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulders, along with her child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes … she lifted up her voice and wept … God heard the voice of the boy … Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. (verses 14, 15, 17, 19)

Pain is part of life. Pain seems to have a privileged place in the Bible as a place where God will happen. Think of all the stories of Israel’s trials, journeys, learning, and of all Jesus’ encounters with the hurt, the despised, the broken, the sick. God turns our understanding upside down and our world inside out as we hear of the transformation of hearts, thoughts and lives in the biblical narrative, and are encouraged to seek God’s kingdom, God’s way, through pain.

Sometimes, pain blinds us and then we need others to open our eyes to see new life. A Mozambican friend, Rosa, fell into deep grief when she lost her grown son. Her profound pain, deepened by the loss of her son’s care for her future and by a physical ailment that the doctors seemed not to be able to treat, was almost unbearable. Tradition held that Rosa should wear mourning clothes for 40 days, but at 5 months, she still had not removed the black clothes. Tradition also held that pain was held in community. Her friends, moved by concern for her debilitating pain, gathered round. After prayer, they gently removed Rosa’s black head-covering and her black capulana (the cloth skirt wrap), and replaced them with new, coloured capulanas. It took this circle of friends to open Rosa’s eyes to new life through pain and God’s healing. To be companions on the journey.

† Loving Lord, you have promised to wipe away all our tears for our pain. Remind us that we do not walk our pain alone, that we are held in our suffering by your gift of community, and enable us to know that, with you, we can learn to live the future into our present always. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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