What do you do when you have built your life around hope and that selfsame hope spits in your eyes? First, it temporarily blinds you and it blindsides you too. Your house declares hope. It is almost on every wall. Spelt out manifesting the letters: H. O. P. E.
The house breathes hope, in and out, in and out, in and out. Repeat.
Now these representations of hope mock, take on form and cavort in gleeful laughter. “Look at you, still hoping. Who do you think you are, someone special? Do you really suppose that hope will make a difference? Look at you now, the wind knocked right of you. Hope is meaningless. It’s hitching your wagon to fictional star and thinking you are on your way. But you are nowhere. Nowhere, I tell you. I hear the merciless cackling. I got some new letters for you, “L.E.S.S.” Add those letters to that word you are always spouting off about, hope – less. Yep. That’s it. That’s you.
The heat of words brands me, hot and wounding.
I stop take in all the emotion of the moment. I need time, time to sort through the feelings fighting inside of me. Where to turn, what to do next?
I leave this essay, carry on with my days. Turn over thoughts in my mind like rocks in a garden. With time and distance from the initial impact, I find a calmness. But my thoughts shift like a rubric cube, trying to match colours and patterns.
As I ponder the poisonous thoughts that flooded my brain, I hear the hiss of the snake now, loud and clear. So, I fight back. Excuse me, hope-less, I am not! I may have gotten knocked over but I am not out for the count.
Hope remains strong and vital.
Its heart beats, never giving up.
Like Emily Dickinson’s famous poem: (And my personal favourite.)
Hope is the thing
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune
without the words.
And never stops,
Hope does not depend upon me, nor does it depend upon my circumstances. I don’t hang my hopes on the outcome of those circumstances although I often want to do this!
I anchor my hope in Hope Himself.
In His character, in the absolute assurance He can take the most dismal situation and redeem it in some mysterious way. Loss, pain, death and tragedy are what we live with here on planet earth. And those things can often be a result of our choices and the choices of others. The world fell out of whack in Eden and evil entered it with glee. But Jesus knows the end from the beginning and He has promised to be with us every step of the journey. Our Heavenly Father weeps when we weep; He weeps for and with us. He is not insensible to our pain or difficulties.
Nothing would make the enemy of our souls happier than to have us lie defeated in the dust, with no hope at all. He wants us out of the game. If mockery and disdain work, well, he’ll dish it out. Great big, super-size me portions!
Amid our pain, sorrow and difficulties, Jesus, the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with griefs – comes alongside us. He walks with us, talks with us. Wise is the one who stops, finds a quiet space and listens to the still small voice.
These words come – reverberate in my soul and spirit. These words a song of hope despite circumstances – these words a clarion call, they are my declaration:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
Watching and waiting, with hope, for today and for all my tomorrows.