Here’s a lovely excerpt from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson which I am currently reading with great pleasure.
The story of Hagar and Ishmael says that it is not only the father of a child who cares for its life, who protects its mother, and it says that even if the mother can’t find a way to provide for it or herself, provision will be made. At that level, it is a story full of comfort. That is how life goes–we send our children into the wilderness. Some of them on the day they are born, it seems, for all the help we can give him. Some of them seem to be a kind of wilderness unto themselves. But there must be angels there, too, and springs of water. Even that wilderness, the very habitation of jackals, is the Lord’s.