Hope is a Choice … Again and again
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart,
The secret anniversaries of the heart …
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The longer I live, the more I realize how unsettled life becomes. I don’t know if being settled is the divine plan for life. I think the plan is more likely for us to be disturbed. Disturbed into action, forced exploration.
It would be easier to find a comfortable place to settle, but life has a way of unsettling, of pushing me out of my comfort zone. Note to self—comfort is important in underwear and shoes! I need firm foundations and footwear to navigate the Life journey.
Ten years ago, this was the funeral day of my son and daughter. This day does not bear the emotional weight of the day of the accident, but March 5 always tugs my heart. It was also the same day of my father’s funeral, fourteen years earlier. And the words spoken that day as the woman in black knelt beside two caskets about to be swallowed by the earth. the graveside service concluded … she was the last to leave–this woman dressed in black turned out to be me, between gaping twin holes, pieces of her heart in caskets. And she whispered to the ground, to the air, to the emptiness, to the darkness she forced the words out of her mouth …
We do not grieve as those without hope … But would that hope carry her? She prayed it would. And I am here to tell you that she has fought for that hope, been graced by it and continues on the journey. Hope comes in different forms, in small glimpses, a sunrise, a flower in asphalt, a baby’s smile. Struggle is often hope’s companion. It also arrives as a gift, and if hope is a gift, there must also be a giver of it. Gifts are meant to be opened and shared, not to collect dust on a heart shelf. Hope carries many people through dark days.
Words that have challenged and encouraged me this past month, from the book of Blessings by John O’Donohue. To Bless the Space Between Us: From A Morning Offering
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
A song by Phil Wickham – dedicated to many others who look forward to a reunion in Heaven:
Heaven Song, by Phil Wickham, album—Heaven & Earth, released 2009.
Heaven Song /same song with images: