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Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: Impossible Dreams
By Kristin Slavik
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Sarah could hear cries of infants in the next tent. She sighed. How desperately she had once wanted to be like the woman in that tent. A man as good and strong as Abraham deserved many children. God had even promised Abraham that he would have many descendants, but it was Sarah who had gotten the message loud and clear.
No children would ever grace her slender belly. As the years had passed she had grown certain that God would never bless her with children. She would never hear the cries of her infant in the night or tend to playful children. She became ashamed; convinced she was unworthy, less than whole. Her barrenness became a mark by which she judged her life.
She went back to her work and tried to move quickly. She still had much to do. Suddenly Abraham burst into the tent. “Visitors! We have visitors, Sarah! The Lord has chosen to call on us! Let us make them comfortable. Quickly, make them three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” Sarah nodded and smiled. She would make the cakes. She loved to see her husband so happy. She was curious about the visitors, but she knew she needed to make the bread first.
She made the bread hastily and gave it to Abraham to bring to the guests. She knew that her place remained in the tent, but her curiosity was getting the best of her. She smoothed her matted hair and wrapped her skirt tightly about her legs. She knelt by the tent door and tried to get a glimpse of what was happening.
Three men were seated under the tree near where Abraham stood. They were finishing the food that had been prepared for them and they were talking quietly. Suddenly one of the men looked at the tent. Sarah was certain that she had been seen. She ducked down lower, leaning to hear what was being said.
The man who had looked at the tent suddenly spoke rather loudly. “Where is your wife Sarah?” He asked Abraham.
Abraham pointed at the tent and replied that she was inside. The men began to tell Abraham that he and Sarah would be blessed with a son.
Sarah felt her hand fly up to her face. The corners of her mouth began to twitch. Soon her whole body was shaking with laughter. Surely these men did not know what they were talking about. If they had seen Sarah they certainly would not have said such a thing. Sarah looked at her leathered hands and wiped a tear from her eye. A baby! Who in their right mind would believe an old woman such as herself could have a baby?
A loud booming voice suddenly invaded the tent. The Lord spoke to Abraham. “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Sarah was suddenly aware that this message was truly from the Lord. A fear shot through her heart. And she did the only thing she could think to do. She denied having ever laughed at the thought of having a baby now. The Lord knew she had laughed, but Sarah was afraid. Her fear turned to joy as she realized there was still hope for her. Her old bones may be slow, but there would be a baby!