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Hannah's Hope, Our Hope

by Joy L. McDonald Coltvet

I went to a story-telling event the other night, and I was transfixed by one story. I felt like my breathing was timed with hers as the story unfolded. With beauty and honesty, she told how in her 30s she desperately wanted a child—and how her pregnancies ended in one miscarriage, and then another, and then a third.

I just read a gripping novel where the main character, Zoe, lost baby after baby as well, so this woman’s story was vivid.

Both of these stories ended as I always hope they will—with a birth. The storyteller’s daughter was there. At my table, a listener commented with quiet reverence, “She tells her story, and then we look over and see a little girl who looks just like her.” In the novel, Zoe’s partner was able to carry their baby—so although Zoe had to release the idea that she would give birth, she could become a mother to her own child, conceived by love and science and a remarkable turn of events.

In this month’s Bible study session we read about Hannah. As you know from the study, Hannah’s story ends just like the others—with a birth, with five more births, as a sign of God’s favor and faithfulness.

The Rev. Joy L. McDonald Coltvet is a pastor in St. Paul, Minn., who has served in parish, campus ministry, and seminary settings over 12 years of ordained ministry in the ELCA.

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