Love this, in today's reading, we get to move away from all the pain and difficulties we saw in Joshua and Judges...oh wait, the book starts with Hannah's pain...but it may also be hinting at the need for us to endure difficulties in order to grow. For some reason that's not too popular in most spritual circles. But, we tend to embrace it elsewhere. At work we endure for the payoff. At the gym, we say no pain, no gain. I suspect that it might do us some good to look back at the examples the saints who went before us set so that we might see the commonality of their difficulties. Everyone suffers.
God sees that, God feels that, God knows our pain.
Hannah is ridiculed and childless. She, perseveres. She endures. She prays through. When God blesses her with a child she names him Samuel--(it's one of the best names of all time!)
The name Samuel is tied back to the idea of the Shema prayer. "Hear oh Israel..."
Shamool is a closer pronunciation. But it means, God hears.
Hannah, despite her difficulties stands on this truth and the last Judge, the great prohpet, the one who says "speak Lord for your sevant is listening" is born. Do we have ears to hear?