I’ll be honest and say I’m not really sure where to begin here. I have a hard time with this, particularly because of the light in which I read part of it.

I’ll probably betray my age here, but when I was younger I read the book “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry. I’ve ready a lot about the Holocaust, but this book was one of the earlier ones; I think it was probably the third novel set during the Holocaust that I read, and I must have been around 5th grade or so.

For those of you who weren’t girls growing up in the late 1980s/early 1990s, I’ll give a brief summary. The story begins with two best friends in Denmark. The main character, Annemarie is part of a family that is joins the effort to rescue Jews from Denmark. Among others, they save the life of her best friend Ellen by pretending that Ellen is Annemarie’s older sister, who had previously died working for the resistance.

This book is the first time I came across a reference to God’s promise to Abram — that he would have as many descendents as stars in the sky. For me, it forever colors the context; for it casts further into darkness the warning that his descendents will be slaves, they will be oppressed before they are delivered.

There’s something so heavy and bitter, then as I read this. God has made a great promise, but it’s one with a shadow side. And indeed it’s a promise that shows no sign of being fulfilled; Sarai is barren and no indication is given as to how these offspring will come to be so numerous. There’s an awful lot of doubt to be overcome and darkness to get through.