When the Narcissist will not Weep, Part 1

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Diagnosis: Blindness

Take a look around your group of friends. I think we can agree that most of us do not know what pains exist in each individual. Not only do we not know what pains exist, but we also do not know at what depths they reside. A clear illustration is the dim-sighted Eli’s encounter with Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:9b-16.

Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put away your wine from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”

Not only did Eli not notice Hannah’s suffering, but he also thought the worst of her. Hannah’s suffering was deepened by Eli’s response, feeling she was now considered by him “a worthless woman”.