On A Foundation of Sapphires

Stone cold floor, washbasin of tears
Bitter stone, floors too familiar
All these years, a flat empty altar
Where she had kneeled, prayed
Pleas echoing in shattered songs
Tight fists battling pain. Barrenness.
Emptiness. Void. Nothing left.

Hannah, חנה, Chana, woman of grace
Woman of favor, so deeply loved
And yet, this fate – her childlessness!
A burden unbearable, and Elkanah
A devoted, caring man at last pleading
Declaring his love was surely enough

Yes, yes. It is. But doesn’t he know?
Does he not feel and bear this same longing…
For a child. Theirs. To hold. To love.

Woman, why do you weep? A bold voice.
In drunkenness of despair, Hannah did not hear
Again, the old priest Eli asked why she wept
Loudly, as if the temple bore her anguish

God give me a son! Send fruitfulness!
And I will give him back to You…

And deep within, she heard Isaiah’s words
Spoken by God not only for Israel, but for her
Sing! You who felt abandoned…Sing!
I will rebuild you, I will rebuild!
On a foundation of sapphires

In miracle days, Hannah’s son was born
Samuel. Extraordinary life gift. Born of faith.

© 2012 S. Michaels
Divine Destinies – Poetic Portraits of Powerful Bible Women
Based on Hannah’s story. 1 Samuel 1 – 2:10 and Isaiah 54:11

Author’s notes: In writing about Hannah, I considered how the Bible prophet Isaiah may have lived during or around the time of Hannah, which might mean Hannah could have heard him teach, perhaps in the temple where she prayed. I imagined Hannah being stirred by Isaiah’s words of God’s promised fruitfulness for Israel, and in bold faith, praying likewise over her own barrenness.  The deep blue stone, sapphire, is considered a symbol of heavenly grace.

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