What does HOPE look like?
We so often think about Spring as the first sign of hope – winter is over and it is time for new life to spring forth!
What does HOPE look like?
We live in a world where the word hope is bounced around with all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings attached to it. Many not-for-profits use it on a regular basis talk about what can be – or what should be – or could be – I know – for I am one of those people – I work for an international humanitarian organization. We care about the health and well being of millions of people in the developing world who do not have access to medical care. We HOPE for better – we HOPE for justice – and we HOPE for equity – and we HOPE for goodness to overcome evil and for life to defeat death. We hope for it because we believe it is possible and we care enough to fight for it for those who are vulnerable and cannot fight for themselves or do not have all that is necessary to make their voice heard.
So what does HOPE look like? My father would speak about FAITH-HOPE-and LOVE – with LOVE being the greatest of all three. And then he would talk about – HOPE – being the glue that holds faith and love together – excuse the analogy – but he would say hope is like the peanut butter that holds the two slices of bread together – keeping faith alive and love in action. It makes so much sense – especially when I put it in the perspective of my day to day work – believing (faith) that life can be better for the disenfranchised – and working hard (love) to make it so because what stands in the middle of this belief and this work – is hope – hope that it can be so – hope that things can be different – hope that problems can be solved and solutions can be found – and that new ways of doing things can change the outcomes of old problems – hope that change can happen. Although I speak from the viewpoint of my day to day work where I am knee deep (if not neck deep) into global humanitarian issues – this same principle can be applied to all areas of our lives.
Hope is the belief that although things can be grim – even downright bad – and yes – even evil – that somewhere in the midst of all that mess there is goodness – there is light in the darkness – and there is the belief that good can overcome evil – with the expectation that there are better days ahead.
Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” or “grounds for believing something good may happen”. So what does hope look like?
Hope looks like the tiny sprout of a tulip pushing its way through the dark and cold earth after a long winter spent frozen and buried beneath the ground.
Hope looks like a young child that is found in unbelievable circumstances – where life should not have survived.
Hope looks like every piece of art or any creative initiative that the human mind takes on – because the creative arts – and the art of creation makes hope tangible. In creating we find ways out and ways up – in our thinking and in our living.
And hope knows that the sun is shining above the clouds when we find our ourselves in the dark dreariness of the storms in our lives. For we know that the storms may exist for a time, but above the clouds the light shines bright. That my friends is what hope looks like to me.
May we all celebrate HOPE this Spring – new beginnings – and a fresh start! And may we also celebrate the strength we have gained through dark times and the faith we have held on to and the love that has grown as we have lived through the dark days of winter – for joy does come in the morning!