His conception was announced by an angel. His name was given when his mother was still carrying him. An angel proclaimed that he would be made into a great nation. His name was Ishmael.
Unlike the unborn John the Baptist, from yesterday's Mass readings, the circumstances of this child's conception were not orchestrated by God.
They were devised by faulty human reasoning in a mad-grab by three people to play God: Sarah wanted a baby. She couldn't accomplish it on her own. She tells her husband to sleep with the servant Hagar, and they will raise the child as their own. Ishmael is the innocent one in this mess.
And yet, God willed that the child should not die while still in his mother's womb. An angel commands his mother to leave the desert and return to the child's father - so that the child may be born into a safe place (relatively speaking). When the child is older, Hagar is permitted to leave with Ishmael, and God's protection travels with them.
Read today's Mass readings and let it renew your confidence in the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death - even when the child is conceived in less-than-ideal circumstances, even when the parents are simply trying to play God. Life is always precious.