I met Hannah this morning in the quiet darkness of my sleeping home.
Yes, I have met her before... I think the first time she was a paper figure kneeling on a piece of felt in a Sunday School room that smelled of crayons and fruit punch.
I knew that she prayed to the Lord and asked for a son.
And He gave her Samuel.
And then, she gave him back.
That always scared me a bit when I was a little girl. I imagined being dropped off by my mom at this dark and cavernous place with an old priest and voices in the night.
It scares me now as a grown woman who has children. Could I give one back to the Lord? Could I give them all?
This morning I feel like I got to know her a little better. She became more flesh than paper to me today. More real.
She was one wife of two.
She had no children. The other wife had at least two, if not more.
Her husband loved her, but he didn't understand her.
She had deep pain.
She was laughed at, and taunted.
Her husband thought that she should be happy that she had him. (How's that for an ego trip?)
When her sorrow got too much, too heavy to bear, she finally went alone before the Lord and cried out to Him for help.
She made a big promise.
She was looked down on while she was praying and even thought of as being drunk by the priest.
When she told the priest why she was there and what she was doing, he heard her and believed her.
The priest gave her hope.
And Hannah walked out in faith, believing that she was heard and that she would receive what she prayed for.
Her faith changed her outlook and her behavior.
And she gave birth to a son.
I was blessed to meet Hannah this morning. And the world was blessed because she took her pain to the Lord and because He granted her request.