Threads of wilderness and barrenness run through much of my present reflection, the liminality where emptiness turns out to be fulness. You hear it echo in posts about Elijah and Cherith, in musings on the wildness of grace, heaven’s violence which first kills before it makes alive. And now these threads bring me here, to a woman who sees God in the vast empty of the in-between.
There was no Somewhere to which she was running. Just a Nowhere that was not there with them, the barren mistress and the father of her child.
When her mistress had dealt harshly with her, she had run without thought of a place to go. Perhaps it didn’t really matter. Far from her people, pawn in the hands of Sarai and now victim of mindgames between the couple with the promise, she was better in the place that was no place. She and her unborn child.
But, though it seemed so to her and though she knew not where she was going, this wilderness water stop wasn’t a place that was no place. For when the angel of the LORD found her there, Nowhere became Somewhere. Desert vastness became localised and space became place, the emptiness filled with a Person.
In a moment the space of hiding becomes the place of encounter, of being seen. Desert emptiness becomes fulness of annunication, of promise. And seeing and naming collide in the one she calls the God who sees.