Faithfulness Throughout the Unexpected
“Your wife Sarah will bear you a son”. Abraham laughed and said to himself, “Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”. He could not believe a promise that would go against the laws of nature (which the very same Voice had given to the world and to life). Sarah, too, laughs near the great trees of Mamre. And Elohim will also be laughing when he utters the name of the son: Isaac, Jishaq, meaning ‘God is laughing’. Abraham and Sarah knew that Isaac was only and entirely the gift of that first Voice. They realise all the rest through their life’s experiences. It is only us, readers and re-readers of these texts that know about the ‘test’ of Mount Moriah, the angel and the ram. Not them: Abraham, Isaac, the servants, Sarah did not know what would happen to them one step further from the one just taken. If we do not take the actual humanity of these far-away narratives and their heroes, we inevitably end up thinking that they are just nice, educational fairy tales or stories with a moral message, and so we empty them of all their anthropological, social and spiritual power.