Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My letter to Hannah

Dearest Hannah,
Every time I read your story in the Bible, I get very emotional. From the second verse, you have me hooked; "And he had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children."

I know that your greatest desire was to have children. It didn't help that Peninnah (the other wife) was a real jerk and teased you unmercifully,and it didn't matter that your hubby was totally in love with you and didn't care about you being childless. You wanted, no, more than that, you needed a child. You would do just about anything to have a child. Hence, your promise to God.

So here's my question, Hannah. when God gave you that child, did you struggle with honoring that promise? While you were pregnant with Samuel, did you know that the promise meant giving him up at such an early age? When he was born and you saw those perfect little toes and that fuzzy haired head, did you just for a moment, want to renig on that promise?

And when the time came to leave him with the priest Eli at the temple, did you hesitate? Did seeing how his own sons had turned out make you want to turn around and run for home?
And yet you left him there. You trusted God.

I love the fact that the Bible says that you visited him each year, bringing him a new robe. Did you ever want to just grab him and take him back home again? I can imagine those reunions; tears and smiles and family stories, trying to keep him connected to the family... because there was a family now. God had blessed you with three more sons and two daughters! They were your reward because you trusted God.

And because you did, Samuel grew up to be judge, priest, and prophet for a whole generation and beyond. He was an amazing man, Hannah. I'm sure you were proud, but in my mind, you are an even more amazing woman. Thank you for sacrificing the "growing up" years of your son, so that the world could learn, even thousands of years later, what it means to serve God.



Jean McCollum said...

Linda, I adore your insight into this story.

Sheila Siler said...

Pastor Linda again . . .