Just Listen


In this world of great grief and anguish, you don’t have to look far to find someone who is hurting. Look for that person in your life, and let him or her know that you will listen.

1 Samuel 1:9-17

Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”  As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

It’s interesting that during periods of trial, times when we are struggling with all that we are, people can see a physical change in us. Eli could see Hannah praying even though he heard no words. Her heart was so full that she had to release her great anguish – she had to let it out of herself and present it to God.

But a funny thing happened when Hannah was praying to God in her great anguish and grief:  a person noticed her. How many times do we wish that we just had someone who would listen to our pain and not try to fix it, not judge us, just listen?

In this world of great grief and anguish, you don’t have to look far to find someone who is hurting, someone who needs to release the pain that is inside of them. Look for that person today in your life and let them know that you will listen.

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