He Heard My Cries--Leah's Story

A brief adaptation from Genesis...

You may have heard of me, but probably not.  I am the oldest daughter in my family, but not the most memorable.  You see, my younger sister, Rachel, gets all of the attention.  I’ve had to deal with this ever since we were young and it’s just gotten worse as we’ve gotten older.  The truth of the matter is that Rachel is gorgeous and I’m, well, forgettable.  Believe me, I’ve heard it over and over about how beautiful Rachel is and how she has such a nice figure.  Yada, yada. Yada.  And me, well I’ve heard people whisper saying that I have fair eyes, or delicate eyes.  I’m sure when our family’s story is passed down to the next generation Rachel will get all of the attention for her beauty and they’ll just call me the “ugly one.”  That’s who I am, the ugly one.

Ugly. It’s bad enough that this is how people outside of our family see me, but I think my dad sees things this way too.  I think ever since Rachel was born she has captured his attention and I was an afterthought.  Here’s what I mean…just recently a guy named Jacob worked for my dad and when it was time for him to get paid he requested that he be given Rachel to be his wife.  If it wasn’t bad enough that he bypassed me, the oldest daughter, the kicker came when my dad agreed to it.  But when it came time for the wedding my dad tricked Jacob and gave me to this man to be his wife.  He tried to soften the blow by giving me an attendant, but I knew what he was up to.  I was a burden to my dad, who knew no right-sighted man would ever marry me and this was his chance to make sure he would be relieved of this burden. 

That’s who I am, a burden.  Although I didn’t capture my dad’s love I thought I might capture Jacob’s love.  After our wedding night Jacob realized how my father had duped him and he was incensed.  I was not what Jacob had wanted.  I’ve never really been the person anybody wanted.  I tried so hard to prove to Jacob that I was lovable, that I was better than my sister--that I was worth wanting.  I figured that if I got pregnant and gave Jacob a child then he would love me.  

  • When Reuben was born I was sure Jacob would love me, but he didn’t.  
  • Then I had Simeon and still nothing from him.  
  • Then again I had Levi and I thought surely Jacob will become attached to me now! But no.

I so badly wanted Jacob to love me, to want me, to need me, to desire me, but nothing.  He had his heart set on the beautiful one and we know that is not me.  Just recently we had another baby, who I named Judah.  Things are different this time.  I have come to realize that my happiness and joy will not come from Jacob or by having another baby.  When Judah was born I realized that none of this other stuff will make me happy, none of it can replace what my father didn’t give me.  The truth is that only the Lord can do this and for this reason I give praise to the Lord who has heard my cries.