Jane Upchurch’s “Hagar”


Hagar (Genesis 16.1-16)

I am an Egyptian
a long way from home,
travelling on an another’s journey,
following their dreams and destiny
with my service.

I am the one
who carries and cooks and cleans,
nurturing and caring
for someone else’s dwelling.

I am my work,
I am invisible for who I am.
I am a stray feather
acquired and used
but that never belongs.

I had learnt the skill
of neutral eyes
and lowered gaze
until today
when the quickening life within me
burst forth in a blaze
of pride.

I am carrying my mistress’s child.
I, not she, will bear
the gift of the promise
of their God.

She doesn’t like my look
for my eyes mirror
her shame and barrenness back to her
as they vaunt my expectancy.

I am scared.

No longer invisible
I am a target for
her sharp tongue and bile
as all the bitterness of her barren years
finds it’s mark in my condition.

I cannot stay.
The thing that seemed to raise me
has thrown me in the dust
like a broken pot .
My swelling pride
is a thorn in my side.

I have nothing.
I am no-one.
I am running from my mistress
with my unwanted child.

And that is how He found me,
in dirt at the side of the road,
all expectancy gone,
just left with the legacy
of her bitterness.

He knew my name.
He made me a promise
like Abraham’s,
a promise just for me,
for my child
not hers.

And He sent me back,
girded by His hope,
protected by His promise.

He saw me.
I am not invisible.
And I saw Him.


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