When I was a child, and again when I became a parent, this powerful story was abhorrent to me. In my youth I thought: God asked what of Abraham? Is this the God who I am supposed to worship? I was at the age when a child joyfully sings “Jesus Loves Me,” and God was demanding that Abraham do away with his precious son. I tried but could not imagine my parents, whom I adored, taking me into the unknown to sacrifice me to God.
As a parent, I read the passage with even wider eyes—imagine being asked to sacrifice your child, the beloved gift that you have waited for all of your life. How could I, or anyone, ever have such faith?