Every so often things will seem really, really dark. It is as if the lights have gone off as far as the eye could see. The surroundings are so bleak, so far away from reality, that it is hard to imagine what things really could be like. It is as if the green grass is pure brown, the trees have lost all their leaves, and blindness has become the norm. Everything is metaphorical in my sentence but the picture is bleak. Just imagine California in the middle of a hot summer combined with a bleak winter’s day in the forest, bundled together with clouds so dark that lightness seems to be a distant memory.
When the reality of life’s harshness surrounds and overwhelms, it is easy to believe that life as one knows it is nearing an end. There are just too many reasons to lose hope. People have struggled with this yesterday, and they will again tomorrow. John talks about how Satan will “talk them [people without hope] into going to war and will gather a huge army, millions strong. They’ll stream across the earth, surround and lay siege to the camp of God’s holy people, the Beloved City. They’ll no sooner get there than fire will pour out of Heaven and burn them up.” (Revelation 20.8, 9) Talk about total darkness!
There is an answer to the darkness that threatens to consume us all; simple hope. Hope founded in the knowledge that compassion, mercy, and unconditional acceptance are more powerful than justice, hatred, and greed. Hope reflected in the sparkle of a child’s eye in spite of the carnage all around. Hope seen in the simple flower that survives a English heat wave. Everyone one can find hope, if one wants to find it.
Some find the presence of hope a miracle. I fall in this camp until I remember the source is Hope. Hope founded in a God that passionately cares about you and me; hope that consumes darkness as if it didn’t exist; hope that defines who and what we can be.