2017, hope, jan richardson, lent, longing, seasons


Yesterday, the first day of spring, started with a bang around here. Before the storm even began, as I was sitting here typing, Denali started getting antsy. At first I thought she needed to go out or wanted to play, then I saw the flash of lightning and realized what she needed – comfort. She does not like storms and she knows they are coming before we do! There was lots of thunder and rain, hail and lightning. Welcome spring!

When I left for work it wasn’t sunny, or at least light out, as usual. It was dark and rainy. And yet, as I was grabbing my keys, I saw my sunglasses on the counter. I clearly didn’t need them at the moment, and from what I heard, it would be rainy all day. I picked them up anyway. As I picked them up I thought, “Well, if that isn’t a sign of hope, I don’t know what is!” Taking my sunglasses with me as I walked out into a rainy, gloomy morning was my sign of hope for the day. Although it did rain a majority of the day, there was a moment in the late morning when I did need those sunglasses and I was grateful I trusted in that hope.

I’m struggling with hope right now. Hope implies that something unexpected will occur when I least expect it. Hope suggests that something I don’t have now I will have later. I want to say I’m hopeful in all areas of my life, but I’m not. I can’t hold on to hope in all things because doing so sets me up for disappointment. I suppose that sounds a bit melancholy and maybe it is. However, there are times I chose reality over hope. There are times I chose science over hope.

Not everyone in my life thinks this way and for that I’m grateful. I’ve asked those people to hope for me. I can’t hope because that will lead to disappointment month after month. I’m too close to the situation; I’m right in the middle of it. But others who have a bit more distance, who don’t experience the day-to-day of my life, they can hope without as much pain. And so, I tell them – hope away! Perhaps their hope will be enough to make up for what I lack.

Writing this feels really hard this morning. I don’t know if I’m overly tired or what. My head feels foggy and I’m struggling to write sentences that make sense. Perhaps hope is even harder for me than I realized. Rather than forcing myself to write more, I’m going to conclude with these words from Jan Richardson that I’ve read the past two mornings. May they bless you as they have blessed me.

Rough Translations

Hope nonetheless.
Hope despite.
Hope regardless.
Hope still.

Hope where we had ceased to hope.
Hope amid what threatens hope.
Hope with those who feed on our hope.
Hope beyond what we had hoped.

Hope that draws us past our limits.
Hope that defies our expectations.
Hope that questions what we have known.
Hope that makes a way where there is none.

Hope that takes us past our fear.
Hope that calls us into life.
Hope that holds us beyond death.
Hope that blesses those to come.


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