I asked my sister what brought her hope in these uncertain and chaotic times.
For a few moments we pondered the question.
It is a great question for every one of us to consider.
Especially when we seem to wake up every morning to a new tragedy or controversy. When we could so easily slip into despair, discouragement or indifference about the state of the world. And become immobilized.
After she had thought awhile, she replied, “I find hope in our young people. They are innovative and intelligent and care so deeply about the environment. The world and our future are in good hands.”
I agreed with her. Having worked with teenagers as a counsellor and educator I too am confident that their honesty, enthusiasm, and desire to make the world a better place holds tremendous promise and hope.
As we continued to walk along the wooded trail, I shared that I find hope in nature. Where seasons reassure me that there are cycles of life. That although there can be long, bitter winter seasons we can be confident that they are always followed by spring and summer. I pointed to the the new growth that was evident everywhere – tenaciously pushing its way out of the rocky trail edge, the fallen decaying trees, and the thick mulch covering the forest floor.
And of course, because I am a person of faith I see nature as a reflection of God and His creation, reminding me that we can trust God. For He is all-powerful, eternal, steadfast and loving. He created the world, has outlasted pharaohs, parted seas, and destroyed armies. He is a refuge and place of safety.
As the day wore on I continued to think more about how to maintain a sense of hope in these discouraging times. And things and thoughts began to catch my eyes and heart.
I noticed the three exquisite yellow roses on my sister’s table. Her neighbour had thoughtfully clipped them from her rose bush to give them to my sister because she knew we were going to be visiting. She thought we would enjoy them on the kitchen table. Her small, but generous, act of kindness, gave me hope.
Watching the evening news and seeing people rise up to help others by donating their finances, energy and even their blood, gives me hope. And although we will certainly face future crises, we can also be certain that people will continue to rise.
My sister and brother-in-law’s generous hospitality and abundant love warmed my heart. And gave me hope.
Sitting on their porch, surrounded by huge cedar trees, the quiet broken only by the sound of seagulls and seals, leaning into the stillness, reminds me that there are places of sanctuary. We just need to find them. And rest in them.
Watching our children raise their children gives me such optimism for the continuance of strong families and the rising of the next generation of ethical, servant leaders.
God’s Word strengthens me. Encourages me. And gives me hope. I am convinced that God’s got this. He has an eternal salvation plan and has the ultimate power to implement those plans and see them to fruition.
I just need to surrender and place my trust, and our future, in Him.
All the while focusing on the small, but so very significant things that are unfolding all around me. And personally contributing wherever and however possible.
Because while we may not be able to immediately change the large injustices, it is possible to discover joy and hope in small mercies and acts of kindnesses.
Which in the end, taken collectively, have the power to make a difference, positively impacting our world, helping to turn the tide.
Day 4, Write 31 Days, @fiveminutefriday daily prompt: HOPE