Last year as advent started, we made the letters H O P E out of salt dough.
Last year these letters sat on our mantle reminding us each of hope. Of the fact that our hope is solid. It is fixed and secure. We made these letters a few short weeks before the accident.
This year the H somehow slid from it’s resting place and broke in half.
There is still hope, it’s just a bit fractured. It will be more fragile now that it has been broken. It is still right and good to have these letters up to remind our hearts to hope.
And hope is hard. It can feel as fleeting as a feather in the wind. Shifting, floating, alighting and hardly settling before it lifts up again on another current to be carried off. Because we can hope in all sorts of things. We can hope for all sorts of things.
Through him [Jesus] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I don’t think hope is a knee-jerk reaction. It is one we have to learn. One we have to arrive at, and I also think, one we have to fight for – fight to stay in.
Suffering gives way to Endurance.
Endurance gives way to Character.
Character gives way to Hope.
To arrive at Hope we have to first go through the intersection of suffering.
The H in our hope broke in half.
And sometimes the hope in our hearts gets cracked too. There is too much suffering. Too much, too much, too much, too much. What are the words to give in the face of the too much? Sometimes there simply are none.
But I can offer my cracked hope. Hope that is solid. Hope that has fallen and broken. Hope that is holding on. Because it is not hope to hope in hope.
Hope is way out beyond what we can see, even what we can fully grasp ahold of.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
For who hopes for what he sees?
With broken, and glued together hope. Oh we hope, and we wait.