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Matron Saint of the Other

Artist: Todd Peterson

Hajar (Hagar) was owned by a Pharaoh in Egypt. She was given to Sarai (Sarah). Hajar was then given to Abram by Sarai because Sarai was barren.

Hajar has no agency over her own body or her life. She tries to escape but is even told by God to return to the abusive life with Sarai and Abram. When Sarah finally does give birth to Isaac, Hajar, realizing her life and the life of her son Ishmael are in danger, takes charge of her own destiny and escapes to the wilderness. Hajar is the only woman in the Hebrew text to see and address God directly — not once, but twice. Hajar is told her son will make a great nation.

Hajar was abused, raped, beaten, rejected, and left to die.

She did not.

Somewhere in that story of sorrow and grief, God met her too. There are so many young girls in today’s world that are in similar situations. Perhaps they can get some courage from Hajar.

- Todd Peterson

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