Hope in a world of Hate.   Hate over each other, hate over ourselves.  How do we find hope when the world seems relentless to deal us a bad hand or a difficult day.  How do we feel hope when we see so much injustice, hurt and tension on the news, at our schools and in our homes.  Hope is a beautiful word that we often cling to but rarely live out due to our own personal insecurities, fears and faults.  But hope is not hopeless.  Hope is real and hope is possible if you sit down with those fears and faults and find truth, find perspective.

Hope is the feeling you get that “everything will be okay”.  I am learning that this is not an innate feeling we were all born with.  I recently dove into the enneagram world where after taking the free online quiz, I was assessed to be a 7, “the enthusiast”.  I will say it was uncanny how much this written description described me.  My passion and drive to start new projects, my excitement in encouraging others and my optimistic view of life.  Well awesome!  That sounded good to me and stroked my ego that I am on the mission I have set out to be.  But then I quickly turned to my husband, who has a very different view of this world and realized, what is your number?  After forcing him to answer 32 questions, he would be labeled a 6, “the loyalist”.  This too described him all too well.  His love for family and willingness to protect and stand by at all cost, his anxiety towards the world and all it’s brokenness, his immediate pessimism that things might not be okay.  This was a moment of revelation.  While I have always seen this world through a rose colored lens of new possibilities and opportunities, my sweet husband tends to see it through the reality of hurt and chaos that is swirling around him.  He watches videos and news clips of devastating events and then uses the worry that this creates to try to protect us at all cost.  For me, uttering the word “hope” is like drinking water.  I can think it, feel it and share it, but for my husband this word has to be earned, trusted.  I love this about him because I know in the moments that he finds it, he truly believes it.  It’s not a shallow word that is just flung around by an optimist but a word he truly is putting into his life.  Whether we are natural born optimist or self proclaimed pessimist, hope is possible to all of us.  For those that it doesn’t come “natural”,  it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come.  You may have to work harder to see it, find it, but it is there.  Hope is found in the non profit driving around delivering food and blankets to the homeless.  Hope is found in a foster home that embraces a tiny stranger as their own.  Hope is found in a smile, a hug, a mindful question to learn more.

As I sit here and listen to my 2 little girls (5 and 3) play “kitty”, I realize THEY are hope.  They are just beginning this life in a world full of possibility where they can pretend to be cats (much to my husbands demise…he’s a dog lover).  But nonetheless, the imagination and innocence of a child is a beautiful and precious gift.  Sadly as adults, we just know too much.  See too much.  Hear too much.  Our imagination has shrunken into a box of reality and our innocence was stolen by humans and credit card companies.  We have learned to survive instead of strive and we have placed hope in a safe corner that rarely sees the sun of day.  So I ask you this today dear friends, where do you see hope in your world?  Where do you see a chance for something better? Kinder? More giving?  Where can you be hope in this world? Bring light, laughter and love into the brokenness all around?  Can we just pray over our hearts today that we will not just go about the motions today but will set new motions in action.  That we will invite, call or text that person who is being put on our heart.  We will smile when we feel like crap.  We will pray when we feel like giving up.  Hope is not just a word.  Hope is not just for the optimist.  Hope is for you.  Hope is for me.  Hope is for every human walking this planet, every child starving, every addict struggling, every mom hurting.

In this moment, if hopeful is not the word that describes your innermost feelings, then I say to you… I have enough.  I have enough hope to hope for you and with you.  I will lend you mine until the hope of your spring flows over like a flood.  I extend my hope into your heart and pray that it will comfort, guide and be your strength on this day and every day until you feel it for yourself.  You are not alone.  I have hope.



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