Recently, a friend asked me, "What's it like to be someone with perpetual hope?"
The truth? Often, it's disappointing. To have perpetual hope means to constantly put yourself in a place of being let down or dismissed; it means to be more vulnerable to great loss and grief. To have perpetual hope means to watch the world through glasses that must withstand great storms.
But the opposite? To have no hope means to put yourself in a place of despair and chronic heartache. To have no hope means to be numb, as you wait for and wish for ... nothing. After awhile, you might forget how to use your heart the right way if you haven't let it hope for anything for too long. To have no hope means to watch the world through foggy glasses that never quite clear up.
Hope is watching, waiting, and willing the bud to bloom at the tail-end of winter. The lack of hope is burying the bud before it even shows sign of life.
Hope is what changes anything good in this world. From the very personal to the grandest platform, perpetual hope is the heartbeat of a world filled with people desperately trying to make it better.
The title of this blog -- The season of perpetual HOPE -- is, in our house, an oft-quoted movie line. It's stated in Home Alone when Kevin's mom is giving the Scranton, PA, ticket agent a monologue about getting home to her left-behind son. Yet, even though the words are from a Christmas movie, they run through my head all year long (and not just because I love Christmas movies!). But perpetual hope does not have to be just a Christmas thing. I think these words are true for all year -- I think we're not meant to be people who give up. We're not meant to lie down and let the darkness swallow us. I think we're meant to rise up, to fight back, to give it everything we've got even when it's harder than it's ever been.
As we start this new year, I wish for you HOPE. A renewed strength to reach for someone or something that you've set to the side long enough. A renewed sense of optimism, courage, and faith that brings you life and joy.
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.