Hope is a Gift
I read the post linked below from Franciscan Media. They asked a good question. I took it a step farther. I agree that hope is difficult now. I am having a hard time taking the gift of hope out of the box so I can use it. I accept it, unwrap it, and take the lid off. The division and unrest I feel lately makes it hard to lift my arms to take hope out and use it. Like Moses, I need people to hold up my arms. (read Exodus 17! https://bible.usccb.org/bible/exodus/17)
The Battle of Amalek:
Moses said he would stand at the top of the mountain overlooking the battle with his staff. This is the staff that parted the Red Sea for the Israelites’ escape, and brought water and quail out of the desert landscape. Some say that this is the same staff that turned into a snake in front of the Pharaoh. This walking stick became the “rod of God.” (I digress – become the stick in the hand of God! interesting, transformation, hmmm)
But Moses couldn’t hold his arms up for the whole battle. First they gave him a rock to sit on. Then Joshua and Hur held his arms up for him. Why? Because when he became weak, they started to lose the battle!
With the inspiration of Moses, I need some people or something to hold my arms up. All of the division and negative media have created an environment where I feel tired. I’m emotionally drained. I feel like I need to hold up a poster of hope for all to see. But my arms are getting tired. Maybe the poster is waist level now. My hands are losing their grip. What can I do?
How do I take HOPE out of the box? What does it look like? The baseline of my personality and development is one of expectation, curiosity and joy. I BELIEVE (yes, I had to put it in caps) that God is there and will make good out of EVERYTHING. I believe there is a silver lining, a message to learn in every situation and a sign of God’s presence if you look for him. Could this Creed of Life sustain me? How often do I need to say it? I REFUSE to give up. It’s so strange to write it, let alone say it out loud to someone. Like most of us, I have great advice for everyone else, but I struggle holding hope in the air!
So, for today, I will sit on the rock and pray that the Saints will help me hold on to HOPE. I DECIDED to laugh, find joy and be a sign of hope to others. Maybe I could look in the mirror and talk to myself!
That reminded me of the little girl in Miracle on 34th Street. You have to watch the black and white version from 1934! Kris (Kringle) convinces her to TRY to believe. Over and over, she says, “I believe, I believe,” in the hopes that it will come true! But she has Kris, right there, helping her to believe. He is the sign that it could be true. Who are the signs for us?
Every year, I watch a few movies around Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and the original, The Grinch that Stole Christmas. I need to. Did I forget? I have friends to help me. I have priests and deacons to talk to. I have Scripture stories of hope and resurrection to read. I have Jesus in the Eucharist and God in my atmosphere. I just need reminders so I don’t forget!
In Mark 9, The Boy with a Demon...[the father entreats Jesus] but if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
If you could hear my thoughts sometimes (I don’t recommend getting in my head), you might hear the same cry from me, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” or “God, help me!” (over and over again!)
Next post? Maybe it will be about gratitude! That was my next thought! If you give thanks always in everything, for God’s will, the fear or anxiety will leave. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) It’s the third week of ADVENT – GAUDETE SUNDAY. Rejoice! I say, Rejoice! (repeat) I believe, I believe, I believe…
Wishing you peace ‘n hope! Merry Christmas! Donna
Franciscan Media, DEC 14: One wonderful gift that God gives us is the virtue of hope. Will the acceptance of this gift be different this year because of recent and ongoing tragedies? https://hubs.ly/H0CPNCJ0
Try meditating to this Natalie Grant song: Face to Face https://youtu.be/ye8O-TdoaOM