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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)

TITLE: Broken in the Wilderness
By Joe Moreland


It was all she could do to place one foot in front of the other. The heaviness that hung over her wasn’t just from the exhaustion of wandering in the wilderness. Nor was it due solely to the fact that she and her son were literally dying from thirst, or the hunger pangs that told her she was on the brink of starvation.

No, her physical trials, severe as they were, did not cause the weight that made her feet feel heavy as giant boulders. It was the loss. The rejection. The knowledge that the moment she and her son were no longer necessary, they were no longer wanted.

As she came across a large bush in this arid wilderness of rock and sand, Hagar thought to herself, “Here is as good a place as any to die.” At least the bush provided some shade from the brutal heat.

She glanced down at her boy, Ishmael, and saw the weariness etched on his face. He didn’t understand, she knew. Just a few short months ago he was the apple of his father’s eye - the hope for the future nation that was promised to Abraham.

Now he was an orphan about to die alone in the wilderness; replaced by a more legitimate heir and cast out by his father with only a skin of water and some bread to survive in the harsh elements. It was a death sentence for them both. If only Abraham had the courage to murder them in their sleep and spare her the pain of watching her son lay down to die!

Hagar settled Ishmael into the shade of the bush. She turned her head when she saw the tears streaming down his cheeks. He knew.

“Lord, I cannot bear to watch him fight for his last breath!” She cried in anguish. Quietly Hagar moved away and she could feel Ishmael’s pleading eyes on her as she left him there. His mother was abandoning him to die alone. Her heart was ripped apart from the shame, but she did not turn back.

Alone they sat within a bowshot of each other and they poured out their hearts to God. Broken in the wilderness, two despairing and hurting souls sought salvation. They wept, they cried out, they raged and they pleaded. When they were spent, they closed their eyes and prepared for the end.

In lonely silence, they waited for death.

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This article has been read 301 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Camille (C D) Swanson 05/12/12
A well written entry that was on topic. Biblical references are always appreciated by this writer.

Good job. God Bless~
Ellen Carr 05/12/12
Well written. Hagar and Ishmael are a story deserving of the telling. One feels for them. And you've brought that sympathy into your moving story.
Glynis Becker 05/15/12
This is a beautiful and careful retelling of such an important biblical story. I really enjoyed it.
Laury Hubrich 05/15/12
Very good story-telling. Great descriptions.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/16/12
Wow, you really did a fine job bringing this to life. I could feel the despair. You covered the topic in a perfect way, showing the reader what weariness is.
Graham Insley 05/17/12
Well written; but the story doesn't end there and it deserved more of your talent.

This proves you deserve to be in the master's category. Thank you.