Life often seems to take more steps towards the back than to the front. News of peace today seems to serve more as graffiti than rebuilding trust and a viable future. If one expands the search it is far easier to be a cynic than hope giver. Everywhere the eye rests you find greed standing at the head of the line, bullies stomping fresh imprints on the innocent, the sly cutting line on the patient. It is as if good never triumphs over evil. Then one discovers acts of caring compassion cutting through the middle of an icy breeze, awesome moments of beauty that paint pictures of hope that last long after the moment has gone, and casual gifts of mercy that defies one’s ability to comprehend the value freely shared. It is as if Divinity itself realized we needed a break.
I know we, all of us, need far more of God’s hope than we have. One can never have too much hope unless it is something squandered from the beginning. Yet I find myself, in the midst of life’s waves, wondering how many signs of hope I have missed. Two days ago I watched a beautiful sunset appear for just a few moments. It came in below the dark winter clouds which had carried wind, rain, and fear all day long. It was as if nature knew that we needed a sign of hope. Even in its brief intensity I could sense just how fleeting it presence was going to be. As the darkness rushed in behind it I found myself wondering how I could share what had just be given me.
Jesus noted the challenge and his response. “I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him.” (John 10.28, 29)
We have Divinity’s gifts with us. They are ours, for giving.
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