"And [Hannah] said, 'Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.'" - 1 Samuel 1:21-28
My best communities of faith are recovery groups. Some of them have "anonymous" in their title and others do not. These communities teach me how to live one day at a time, how to simply take others at the one day they are having without judgment, how to tell my story and listen to the stories of others and how to pray really hard!
When it comes to addiction the world is full of misunderstanding. Hannah was praying her longing for a child and Eli said, "How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself?" Did he make an assumption because he knew Hannah from her annual visits, or because that was his go-to criticism of women? We don't know.
Hannah didn't become defensive. She shared her story and asked for his help, which shook the holier-than-thou right out of him. Eli was willing to sponsor her in prayer before God. He rejoiced with her years later when she came with her boy Samuel to show him how her life was changed. And Samuel never drank.
God changes lives. In spite of all the ways we can misunderstand, enable, judge, or expect the worst of one another, every day is an opportunity to re-make relationships and recover hope.
God grant me the serenity to accept everyone as they are, the courage to tell my own story, and the wisdom to trust God to take care of the rest. Amen.