This morning I began reading 1 Samuel as part of my devotions. I was struck by the
encounter Eli has with Hannah in chapter 1. Hannah is desperate for a child yet
remains barren. She is in the temple “praying in her heart, and her lips were moving
but her voice was not heard.” (1:13) Eli the priest misinterpreted what he saw. He she
said to her, ‘How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.” (1:14). He
saw the headline and made a snap judgment. Fortunately for Eli, Hannah corrects him
and he is able to see the situation for what it really is. Through her correction he was
able to see beyond the headline.
It is easy to see someone and, based on outward appearance or behavior, make a snap
judgment. Unfortunately most of the time we do not put ourselves in a place to hear
the story behind the headline. There is always more to the story than the headline we
create; crackhead, idiot, punk, bum, etc. Our confirmation bias assesses, dismisses,
and walks away.
Before we dismiss based on the headline we create for someone perhaps it would be
good to see beyond the headline and realize that is a real person with real issues that
may need you to help rewrite the story of their lives.