I needed something to change. In our little group of four, with a computer screen connecting us, my heart leaked out my eyes. At the time, I didn’t know what or how or when. But I knew “something” needed to change. So much had already changed, but there was a depth to the darkness that seemed like a bottomless pit.
I suppose some have never experienced this darkness and heaviness. Usually they try to talk you out of it, convince you of their perspective. Or they say, “let me give you a hand, I can help you out in a second.” Or they look at you with empty eyes because they can’t understand or don’t want to understand or refuse to position themselves in a place of understanding. The one in the dark, is looking for soft eyes or a warm embrace or an assurance of safety or peace. Most of the time, they’ve stopped looking into eyes, for all they find is…..distraction and apathy. They don’t reach out for an embrace, because there are too many strings attached. And, anxiety switched places and took the seat of peace. What happened to peace? Something destroyed the peaceful place.
Hope is that glimmer of light when its still dark. Its the spark that takes you by surprise because you thought all was cold and dead. It has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with God. “The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the water. Then God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light.'” (Gen. 1:2-3) It is a powerful thing to realize that, in the midst of our darkness and pain, before we see the spark, the Spirit of God is hovering. And He is about to speak.
Hope breaks the darkness. It can be huge and undeniable and joyful and propelling. But often it arrives as a mere spark. How little. How fragile. How powerful. Can something be simultaneously fragile and powerful? I’ve learned it can be. I read a Greek quote, “If it were not for hope, the heart would break.” Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick. But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Hope is the difference between ending my life, or living another day. Its the difference between looking up, or closing my eyes. Its the difference between searching for light, or pulling the cloak of darkness a little tighter around me. Its the difference between holding onto the rope, or falling backwards deeper into the pit. Its a spark, and yet so powerful. We call it hope. We call Him Hope. “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world.” (Matthew 12:18-21)
I’ve been on this journey and dissection of Hope for awhile now, well before the holiday season began. But I know its specifically what I’m called to both realize and practice daily in the new year 2018. Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Oh how much this world needs you and I. But thats too big. Let’s look up. Let’s look around. Let’s find some eyes and smile into them. Let’s lean in and hear the whispers from broken hearts. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (I Cor. 4:6-7) It’s a powerful thing to know that we are the heart-touchers, the soul-bearers, the ice-breakers. He has put this treasure inside of us so we may pour this Hope into others.