kanga, I've been thinking about your questioning, and I have to say I really admired that you don't just close your eyes and swallow, but that you want to really know and understand.
I was cleaning my kitchen and thinking about being willing to sacrifice my own child because Allah told me to. And then I thought, how many times have I sacrificed their ___ for ___? How willing am I to sacrifice their well-being for money? For ease? What else have I sacrificed them for (obviously not to the greatest degree, but the power is in the parable)? Why are we so often willing to sacrifice our children, small bits of them, their innocence, their childhood, their joy, etc., without even thinking? (Thinking about TV and media consumption, materialism, that sort of thing.) Allah said sacrifice him--now think about it. Why would I ever? And then, why DO I now? Especially for all these little bits of dunya? (Do I make any sense?)
Anyway, I also have a feeling of deep love for Hajar, and this time of year, I think of her. Now, here in the desert of the Peninsula, I think a lot about her thirst. Wishing dh and I could have managed to make Hajj, but feeling so unworthy.