So Hannah went to the temple to pray – an anguished prayer deep in her spirit with unspoken words. I have been there many times, with the Lord and with people. Just because I don’t say much doesn’t mean I have nothing to say, just a profound sense of my inability to fully express. I am so glad that God knows my heart and mind and doesn’t second-guess me. He hears the hidden cries, the inexpressible passion of joy or grief – or whatever I may be feeling – and doesn’t condemn or misunderstand. He hears, He knows, He treasures. And I am so thankful the Holy Spirit is a gift in so many ways, one of which is to communicate God’s thoughts and heart to me and to take my inability to express and communicates with groanings too deep for words on my behalf.
But Eli, well that’s another matter. How long did he observe her and wonder if she was drunk? Did he assume the worst right away? Did he try to read her lips, her non-verbal communication, her heart? Maybe he had seen many like this, so it was easy to assume she was just another. I know how I feel when “misread” – how many times have I misread another? Sometimes in my quest not to misread, I fear I may lose discernment of what truly is. Thank You, again, Holy Spirit, for bringing Your perspective. May I always see through Your eyes.
But it is her prayer that gets to me – to look on her need, to remember her, and to not forget. I speak to many people in the course of a week. It bothers me if I forget a name, a face, or something they have shared with me. To be forgotten lessens the sense of value and significance we all need. She was calling on the Almighty God to stop and take notice, not just hear her voice among others. To remember means to mark it firmly in your mind. Hear my cry. Mark me, Lord. Implant me firmly in Your mind. And His answer (through the now sobered Eli) was to go in peace. Later, in verse 19, it specifically says the Lord “remembered” her. There was a bookmark on this chapter of her life, placed by the Author Himself.
Since we know that it is impossible for the Lord to forget anything/anyone, I find it fascinating how her plea was matched with His direct answer – the same wording is used. There are times I need to emphasize some directions with my kids – don’t forget this. It adds weight to the direction. And it adds weight when it is heeded, even though they might already have been planning to do it. He remembered me! It was important; therefore I am important!