Genesis 23: A Eulogy for Sarah

I first met Sarah about 5o years ago. Back then she was just Sarai. That was before Isaac was born and before we knew about her infectious laugh. It was before Abimelech and the Pharaoh, Hagar and Ishmael. She had just embarked on a journey that many thought was downright crazy: leaving her home with that husband of hers who swore God was talking to him.

I am pretty sure she never heard the voice, but it didn’t stop her from diving in head first. She went with Abram. She traveled from place to place. She saw more of the world than many of us will ever dream. And she experienced things few of us will ever have the chance to do.

How many women can say they were in the harem of not one, but TWO kings? And not just any kings mind you. One of them was the Pharaoh of Egypt himself! The other was Abimelech and boy, was that a funny story! I am sorry he couldn’t be here today. But I guess what I am trying to say is that she was a real looker. Abraham, you are a lucky man!

Things got rocky when Abram started talking about children. You would never know it now, but she couldn’t have kids for most of her life. I know right?! But that God he was following was promising children and Sarai found it a difficult promise to believe. This caused her to make some painful choices that I hope none of us ever have to make. But she stuck with Abram through all the ups and downs and for that, I admire her.

Then one day some men came to their tent. They wanted to speak with her to tell her that she would have a child by that same time next year. This was the first time any of us heard that wonderful laugh of hers. It was such a great laugh that she and Abraham actually named Isaac after it!

And then the unthinkable happened: Sarah got pregnant. No one saw it coming. But I don’t think anyone has ever been happier. The day he was born was a celebration. I have never heard more people laughing and rejoicing. Turns out that this God Abraham was following is capable of doing some amazing things!

By the way, Isaac is turning into a fine young man and we hope he will continue the legacy of his wonderful parents.

Sarah lived a life of difficult faith. There was much pain and strife in her life but she stayed in the game. She didn’t do it perfectly but she did it faithfully. And in the end, she will be remembered by that beautiful, contagious laugh.

We will miss you, Sarah. Rest in peace.

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