So Abraham rose early in the morning,
            and took bread and a skin of water,
            and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder,
            along with her child, and sent her away.
            And she departed, and wandered about
            in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.

                           —Genesis 21.14

Name her.
Hagar, the outcast,
rejected by your own ego,
victim of your own lust and fear,
consequence of your many mistakes,
sent away by your guilt.

In the wilderness of your heart she wanders.

But listen:
God will care for her, rescue her,
feed her child, who will thrive.
God is with her.

Who is she,
wandering in the wilderness of your heart?


Who is she, abandoned
in the Beer-Sheba of our cities,
despairing under the tree of our headlines?
Who is she whom we choose to be our Hagar,
our outcast, she who is made invisible,
she whom we thought we could do away with,
could make foreign, make strange,
turn into an other,
but who is truly ours?


How do we take her back?
Where do we find that land
big enough for us both?
How are we healed of our own cruelty,
sending her, of our own heart,
away, always away?
Where do we find those open arms
that await us,
that teach us to open our arms?

                           —June 22, 2017

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