Hannah: Restoring The Priesthood

1422893_93155948From Sorrow to Joy

I witness again today the birth of another child
My husband’s second wife her scorn is nothing mild
Relentless she mocks me day by day for my bareness
My heart it aches to give a child love and tenderness
My husband loves me this I know for sure
His love and care he sheds on me is so very pure
He’d love me in my bareness for all of his days
I can’t help this emptiness to the Lord I pray
God smiled on me for now I have a son
My heart is full of so much joy I am undone
I asked God for him and He gave me joy
I now have my first-born son oh my baby boy
I came to the Lord in desperate need I was in distress
I called upon His name so mighty to Him I will address
My need so great to change my fate for I want to bring
My life before Him to His throne a new life that sings

©2012 Heather Green

The Story of Hannah is in 1 Samuel 1: 1-28 and 1 Samuel 2: 1-11.
The following is a modern adaptation on the story of Hannah; please read the following through that lens…

It is Sunday morning; you have been struggling with a problem for a very long time.  The situation is out of control and the only other friend, if you call her a friend, is mocking you at every turn.  She is relentless.  Instead of words of comfort, she offers ridicule.  Your husband tries to be reassuring, but his efforts are fruitless.  You are troubled, anxious and beyond resolve. The only place left for you to turn ~ the Lord.  You get ready to head to church, the one safe place to access God.  You cannot wait to get there, to take your problem to God, the only one that can help you.

You head straight for the altar, fall down before God, and begin to pray in earnest.  You are greeted by your pastor; after all that you have been through, you muster up the faith and courage to get yourself to church to pray, only to be accused by the man of God of being a drunk.  Your heart sinks even further.  This man accuses you; his own sons have sex with women right out in the foyer, where you have coffee and donuts, the fellowship hall.  The gathering place for the congregation to fellowship with other believers, and you are accused of being drunk when you pray.  His sons run wild, there is nothing godly about them, yet he won’t utter one rebuke to them, but hurls accusations at you.

Through all this, you remain faithful to God to answer your prayer, you want a child.  You and your husband have been trying for years.  All the ovulating kits, the natural remedies, the brochures for the In Vitro clinic on your nightstand deprive you of sleep.  All you want is a child.  You pray that if God just give you a child, you will dedicate him to the Lord.  You want to stand up like all the other mothers to have your baby dedicated.  The blue bible, the blanket, and the commemorative plate with all the birth specifics.  Your heart aches with every dedication service that you remain barren.  Still through all your pain, God has poured out His grace upon you and filled you with hope; hope that your prayer will be answered.

God is faithful and you give birth to your first-born son.  All the prayer and travail has come to fruition in the beautiful baby boy you now hold in your arms.  You caress his fingers and toes, you fall in love with that precious face, and you have joy overflowing, thankful beyond words to the Lord for blessing you with a son.

Three years have passed and you must fulfill your oath to God.  Your promise has grown in your belly and you have had three joyful years with him.  It is now time to give him up.  You spend a couple of days packing all his belongings.  You shed tears as you pack his favorite toys, his blanket, and the favorite stuffed animal.  You mustn’t forget his toothbrush ~ oh and surely his favorite bedtime story, it takes three or four times over before he is even close to going to sleep.  Of course Pastor will know all of this when you drop him off to live at the church for the rest of his life.  You muster up the strength to buckle him in his car seat and head for the church.  Baby Einstein is playing and your eyes are welling up with tears, as you keep checking on him in the rear-view mirror; assuring yourself you are making the right decision.

You arrive at the Church.  How will you ever say good-bye to your precious baby?  Who will cuddle him when he falls down and scrapes his knee?  Who will kiss him when he hurts ~ or encourage him when he fails?  Certainly not the mean, insensitive Pastor your about to leave him with.  As you pull up to the church, the pastor’s sons are escorting the women they just slept with in the fellowship hall out the side door ~ not concerned with who may be watching.  You watch as they stumble back in the door, obviously drunk.  Your heart sinks into your stomach ~ knowing you have to leave your three-year-old child with these three men.  One, a callous indifferent high priest and two drunk, promiscuous men will now be the caregivers of your small child.  Once a year you will be able to see him.  Cell phones are not allowed, you cannot call to check up on him, there will not be any skyping and no weekend visits.  This is it.  You give him one last kiss good-bye as you turn and walk the slow, heart-wrenching trip to your car and go home.

Can any of us imagine having to do this with your three-year-old child?  Most family courts would eradicate our parental rights and would find Child Protective Services at our door.  Yet this is what Hannah endured.  Her fulfilled promise doesn’t seem so glamorous through this lens, does it?  How many of us would be able to go through with leaving our young child in the care of these three men?  Could you sleep at night?  Hannah was a surely a brave woman.

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