The Promise of Hope
Hope. What is it and how do we get it? That question has been on my mind often in the last few weeks. Our Haywood Street Community has experienced much loss in a very short period of time recently. The death of friends, family members and partners. Empty spaces where those we love and cherish previously dwelled. We could see them. Touch them. Hold them and be held by them. Now, that empty space feels
strange, unfamiliar and wounds us beyond words. Beyond the telling. The pain of the loss lays our emotions bare, raw and exposed, or perhaps buried deep inside, leaving us unable to feel or function.
We know that the Dark Night of the Soul comes to each of us, in some way, during our lifetimes, often like an unexpected whirlwind, fast and disorienting. So, how can we move through this pain that overwhelms and overtakes us and leaves us in our own void?
May I offer a thought for our beloved community? I claim no special wisdom or knowledge for healing the broken heart or spirit, but I do know One who does. It is to that One we turn for the living of each day. For the survival of each day. For the hope of each day.
Hope. Perhaps this word holds some answers for us.
Definitions of hope:
* “to cherish a desire with anticipation” (Wikipedia)
* “to want something to happen or be true”
* “a strong and confident expectation” (bible.org)
Do any of these hold meaning or value for you? Sometimes this is the only kind of hope that we can see or grasp. Sometimes we see no hope at all. Sometimes we must wait for hope to find us. Often we hold hope for each other, as we hold space for our friends who are unable to receive the hope that God gives. The hope that is Jesus himself.(1Timothy 1:1) The hope that is defined by the promise of God that we will never be separated from the One who created us. (Romans 8:38-39) and loves us beyond words.
How can we experience this hope that is based on who God is and not on who we are or what we do? (Romans 5:2.) We find it in the touch, the tears and the prayers of those who hold us. We find it in worship and praise of our merciful God. We find it as we journey together, giving and receiving comfort, and sharing our own wounds with each other. We receive hope by simply being with one another. Not doing. Just being.
We cling to the hope that one day, all the empty spaces left by our loved ones will be filled by all of us, as we join those gone before, held in eternity by God’s own self. Until we gather as one, may we hold each other in the Peace and Hope that is Christ himself.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Hope. God’s promise. So be it.