Recently, I received a post on Facebook about remembering the things that we still have during this prolonged pandemic, rather than thinking about the things we have lost. The post by Julie Tarka Douthart listed things that have not been cancelled starting with the lines-The sunshine is not cancelled, Kindness is not cancelled, Love is not cancelled … ending with Hope is not cancelled.
Speaking of hope, during my daily walk, I pass a local church that each Christmas season has four, tall, white letters erected which spell the word HOPE. There are no flashing lights, no glitz, yet these letters together have a special message for people like myself passing by.
One day, after particularly windy weather, I noticed sadly that the ‘O’ was no longer standing straight but was on quite a lean. It made me think of people who during this period of turbulence might also be losing or have lost their hope. I watched each day thinking the ‘O’ was going to fall. Luckily the letter ‘H’ seemed to be stable and was preventing this from happening. Thankfully, the day before Christmas, I noticed that someone had set the ‘O’ straight again. After all, for those who celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, our HOPE is in whom we celebrate.
It made me think about how those who have that Hope need to stand beside those whose hope may have faltered during this time of loss – loss of loved ones, jobs, health, relationship and so on. And to come alongside those who need encouragement and hope, remembering to look for ways to do so, not just during the Christmas season but throughout the year.
Today, as I passed the church, I noticed that again the ‘O’ seemed to be falling forward. A reminder that when we help others, it can be a long-term commitment.
Also, a reminder to all of us as Julie pointed out that not everything has been lost or cancelled, especially the HOPE in which we can trust.