Biblical Fiction: For This Child I Prayed
by William Gage
Biblical Fiction: For This Child I Prayed.
A MOTHER'S HEARTBREAKING SACRIFICE...
After her husband took a second wife, Hannah desperately needed someone to love. For years, she begged God for a baby. When she promised to dedicate her future child to the Tabernacle as a Nazarite, the Lord finally answered her prayer. Now, she was faced with the most difficult choice a mother could make: would she keep her vow to give up her child?
This is a short fictional story based on the biblical account in the Book of Samuel. It is the first part of a series about the founding of the ancient Israelite monarchy. Check Amazon regularly for future releases.
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Publication Date: July 2, 2015
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Check Out What One reader Had To Say
Though there is not much biographical data about William Gage, author of this short story FOR THIS SHILD I PRAYED, after reading this sensitive retelling of a story inspired by the Bible the author takes the time to explain the cover art - demonstrating his sensitivity to all of the arts.
It bears inclusion in his bio: `The image on the cover is a seventeenth-century painting by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, a Dutch artist who was an apprentice under Rembrandt. The painting, titled Anna toont haar zoon Samuël aan de priester Eli (" Hannah presenting her Son to the High Priest Eli"), is currently hanging in the Lourve. The painting tenderly captures the moment Hannah gave her immortal "For this child I prayed" dedication, words that hang over countless cribs across America.
It is a poignant scene; Hannah clutches baby Samuel as she addresses the High Priest, stealing a few more precious seconds to hold him in her arms before giving him up forever. Rather than using a beautiful young woman as a model, Eeckhout chose a middle-aged woman with a receding hairline to represent Hannah.
This choice helps drive home the fact that the little boy might be the only child the aging woman would ever have, magnifying the gravity of her sacrifice. We cannot see her full expression, but if you look closely, you can see that her nose is bright red, presumably from crying.
The toddler is distracted by bronze container on the floor, innocently oblivious to the drama unfolding on his behalf.' He then proceeds to discuss Baroque art. It is a nice introduction to his story.
William inserts some historical data to set the story of the city of Shiloh, the center of Judaism and the place housing the Arc of the covenant and the Tabernacle , and the Hannah and her husband Elkanah visit after their wedding.
Though their marriage was strong, Hannah was barren, and according to Jewish law she had to be isolated during her menses. Feeling sorry for her isolation Elkanah gives her a puppy to keep her company and to assuage her grief for being barren. But the pup grows up dies, and Elkanah takes a second wife who is very fertile. After her husband took a second wife, Hannah desperately needed someone to love.
For years, she begged God for a baby. When she promised to dedicate her future child to the Tabernacle as a Nazarite, the Lord finally answered her prayer. Now, she was faced with the most difficult choice a mother could make: would she keep her vow to give up her child?
William's manner of recreating this story is so very fine that children who know little about the Bible (and adults who are unfamiliar with the rich histories it contains) will be drawn into the spell this little story casts. Hopefully William will continue to `open the great book' repeatedly to embellish the rich stories that are there. Grady Harp, July 15
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