Hagar was Sarah’s Egyptian slave, who was offered to Abraham as wife when Sarah did not think she would have a child. When Hagar became pregnant, she despised Sarah. Because of this, Sarah treats Hagar harshly, who in turn then runs away. The first time she runs away she encounters an angel who tells her to go back. Hagar does return and bears a son named Ishmael. Sarah eventually gives birth at 90 to a son named Isaac (name means ‘laughter’). Sarah is afraid for Isaac’s position in the household, and tells Abraham to banish Hagar and Ishmael. He sends them away, and they both wander in the wilderness. After running out of water and food, Hagar scared for her son to die, puts him away under a bush. God hears Hagar crying. He promises her that He will make her son a great nation. Hagar then sees a well of water and they’re saved.
When I first read the story of Hagar, I initially sympathized so much with her and the struggles. I felt troubled reading, but that trouble soon went when reading how God heard her prayer/anguish and saved both her and Ishmael (his name means God hears!) I wanted to capture the anguish and desperation in her expression, and looking up to God for help. As usual, I didn’t want to focus so much on the background, clothing, or surroundings…and just keep focus on Hagar.