‘O that Ishmael might live in your sight!’ … Genesis 17:15-27   I had not seen my niece for a good while so when I learned that she had gone the way of Islam, I was naturally concerned. We understand Abraham as righteous because he had faith (Hebrews 11) in God that he would have a son by his wife Sarah. Yet if only for a moment, in this passage of Genesis it sounds as if he had some concern, some doubt that at the ages of 100 and 90, he and his wife respectfully could have children. But I also sense that his love for Ishmael was true and it is that love for Ishmael to which God responds in love; “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous…”.  I will always love my niece. Her desire to be closer to God took a turn that I didn’t anticipate, but I remember God’s blessing upon Ishmael out of God’s love for Abraham and know that my prayers for her are heard as well. She is beautiful. She is loved. She is blessed.

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