At church this morning, we celebrated Gifts of Women Sunday. Last year's Gifts of Women Sunday was in May (see my write-up here), so I'm not sure why we are celebrating it in March. But I enjoyed the celebration this morning, and I appreciated the message.
An elder of the church (whom I'll call "Kay") was giving us the message, and she was talking about her experiences as a single-parent years ago after her husband left her. One of her children (whom I'll call "Jen") had a learning disability, in that she had problems with reading comprehension. Because of that, teachers and officials at the child's school did not expect for Jen to go to college or really amount to much. But Kay had a strong belief that God had a plan for her daughter, and Jen went to college and became a biology teacher.Kay was saying that she received a lot of inspiration from the biblical character of Hagar, whom Phyllis Trible calls the first divorcee and single parent in the Bible. Although my experiences have been quite different from those of Kay, I, too, love the story of Hagar. Here was a lady who was oppressed and rejected, and this occurred at the hands of God's people. Yet, God loved Hagar and had a plan for her son.