Hannah and her son are outside for a pleasant walk. A yellow sun surrounds them, and geometric clouds fingerprint the sky. The beginning of Hannah’s story was not as bright and happy as this moment. For years Hannah was deeply saddened that she was not able to conceive. At her annual pilgrimage to Shiloh, Hannah fervently prayed for a son. She promised that if the Lord said yes, she would return her son to serve in the Lord’s house. The answer to her prayer came in the birth of Samuel.
A city lies in the distance, perhaps the place where Hannah promised her son to God. Samuel is young, but soon it will be time to honor her promise. For now, Hannah holds Samuel close. Something has caught Samuel’s attention. Is he hearing God’s call and looking toward his future home and service? Hannah’s expression appears somewhat sad and apprehensive. Is she hearing the same voice, reminding her of her promise?
The artist’s use of magazine clippings creates a distinct separation in the clothing of Hannah and Samuel while also creating a common bond in the layered style of dress. Artist Cody F. Miller writes, “With these materials I am showing the layers of God’s grace through individuals who dared to trust Him. . . . I convey it not necessarily in a bright way, but rather in a way which shows the quiet fingerprint of God saying, ‘I was here all along.” (www.codyfmiller.com/artists-statement/).
The story of Hannah and Samuel is a wonderful reminder that God hears our prayers and remains faithful to us. As the artist suggests, it is a story of hope and all that God can accomplish through us when we are open to God’s call.
Cover art courtesy of Cody F. Miller. © 2007 Cody F. Miller. Prints of cover art are available from www.codyfmiller.com.
"Thank you for the creative teams [of The Upper Room] who are working together to share the power of prayer around the world. You have collaborated with everyone working from our homes to share the gifts of hope, love, grace, and peace." (Written in response to The Upper Room COVID-19 response efforts). View Jaqui's video contribution to the initiative, helping us create space and time for God in these anxious times.