Hope

a girl checks her phone five times a minute to see if she’s received a text from the object of her affection

the school nerd walks up to the most popular girl in class and asks her out, knowing but refusing to accept that she is likely to rebuff him

a mother hasn’t eaten for days and has fed her children little more than crumbs, but she keeps walking, looking for shelter

a father of five goes walks to the street where migrant workers are often picked up for day jobs, and leans against a light post all day long, jumping up eagerly each time a car drives by

a recent graduate walks up to the just-posted printout which lists the students who passed their university-entrance exams, hesitant yet unable to contain his eagerness to find out if he got into the programme of his choice

a four-year-old wakes up and runs down the stairs on Christmas morning, wondering if her parents bought her that toy she’d begged for

dozens of refugees crowd onto a tiny speedboat headed across the Mediterranean, trying to find a shore in southern Europe on which to dock, undetected, preferring to flee the law rather than fear violence on a daily basis

More and more during the past few months, hope has been my theme. I don’t know if I ever realised before just how important hope is to me. I live in a world marked by despair, and work with people who have suffered unthinkable pain and loss. I’ve met families whose homes were shattered in earthquakes, men who were trying everything to avoid their sons being recruited into the military of a dubious-at-best army, women who had fled car bombs on their street and arrived in a new town where they had to beg for bread to feed their children. Determined not to brush off these precious children of God, I have sought to understand what it is like to be them. In the process, I am afraid I have lost a bit of my confidence in the goodness of God.

But I have not lost hope. I cannot lose hope. I need to know that God is still there, that while I might not understand him and am not always confident I can trust him, I have hope because I know God CAN. Tomorrow can always be better. The afterlife can always be better. Something lovely can happen today in the life of a family in mourning. Even when it feels like all hope is lost, it is not. There is always hope.

I don’t understand hope, but I know it’s there and it is important to me. So, from now until the end of the year (only 2 months away, whoosh!), I am going to explore hope on CulturTwined. I will look for hope around me and try to listen out for stories of hope, and try to share those stories here. Do you have a story of hope?

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