Hannah’s Apostrophe

I Samuel 1:4-20 – The 25th Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, November 15, 2015

“Then she made this promise: ‘Lord of heavenly forces, just look at your servant’s pain and remember me! Don’t forget your servant! Give her a boy! Then I’ll give him to the Lord for his entire life . . .’” (I Samuel 1:11)

Hannah prays*
Hannah prays*

Tell me about Hannah’s place or time of birth. Tell me how or when she died. Tell me what happened to the woman also known as Samuel’s mother between her first and last breaths.

No response? Are you word-searching your digital Bible? Perhaps desperately Googling?

Indeed, my brief opening paragraph summarized the scant Biblical verses on Samuel’s mother. Punctuation-wise, the apostrophe between the “l” and the lower case “s” defined Hannah.

Not fair, you might protest. There are more apostrophes and details to her credit: Elkanah’s barren wife, Peninnah’s rival, believer, pray-er, promise-maker and a woman whose name means grace. Continue reading →

Invisible to the Eye

I Samuel 15:34-16:13 – The 3rd Sunday after Pentecost – for Sunday, June 14. 2015

“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long are you going to grieve over Saul? I have rejected him as King of Israel.” (I Samuel 16:1)

Me, my younger sister, and Dad. Sometime in the 1960s.
Me, my younger sister, and Dad. Sometime in the 1960s.

I wonder, in what became her last days, how much Mom worried about my relationship with Dad.

Sometimes, I detected hints of hurt in her bright eyes.

Every once in a while, her voice seemed tinged with sadness.

On occasions, quietly, she’d add, “You know your father loved you.”

My father, during most of his life, seemed an effusive, outgoing man. Dad could just as easily start a conversation with a stranger in a parking lot as he could talk with friends during the after-church coffee hour. He sold life insurance. He was successful, winning awards and—by all accounts—his professional peers admired him. You don’t accomplish what he did in sales without being friendly, a good listener, and able to say the right thing at the right time. Really, who wants life insurance? Anyone with a growing family or thriving business “should” buy insurance, but who readily volunteers to part with hard-earned pennies for something he or she hopes is never needed!

But why did Dad so rarely say he loved me? Continue reading →