The HOPE We Give
“I'm just trying to keep faith, to keep hope and I am praying for a miracle that Hezekiah will soon be home.” --Bonita Hill, mother of Hezekiah Hill, age 8
My heart has been aching for the family of the missing 8 year old little boy who was pulled under the waters of New Smyrna Beach on Saturday. But today, when the little boy’s mother, Bonita offered up the word “hope” in sheer anguish, it brought me to immediate tears--tears for her and also for my inability to rescue this mama or myself out of her pain.
As writers, artists or even just friends of the hurting, we often give what we can hoping deep down that we can somehow lessen the pain... even if just for a moment. Recently, I have been painting “Hope Circles” and sometimes I use these little creations to encourage the hurting around me. To me, these circles signify that hope in the purest sense is round...there is no beginning, middle or end. Hope is not because of something but it is its own separate entity and needs no qualifier to exist. It is self sufficient and self sustaining. And real hope? Oftentimes it can be seen where it makes absolutely no sense. Hope exists right smack dab in the middle of where she has no worldly business being found.
But this time, when I heard the grief and anguish of this mama I was left empty handed. In the past, upon hearing devastating cries of pain I would reach out to the hurting through my gifts. But this time it felt different-- I felt helpless and insufficient. I knew deep down that nothing I could give would ever touch this level of despair. So I prayed. I prayed for her sad heart. I prayed for hope. I prayed for peace to somehow reach in and cradle her heart. I prayed for her to find Jesus because that is the only person who can truly give her the hope she so desperately needs.
Each time I create for someone I pray and I listen closely for just the right words and image. I long to speak the truth He wants them to hear. I long to be merely a messenger of the One who rescues us from pain. But now more than ever I realize just how out of the picture I really am. In my heart I stepped back just a little bit more from the ministry God has been calling me to. More Him, less me. And I think the more we can loosen our own grip on what we do and create and give, the more room there is for the Lord to move in and work in the hearts of those we are ministering to.
So we keep writing. We keep painting. We keep taking meals and sending notes of encouragement. And above all, we remember. We remember that it is the Lord who heals through our hands and brings comfort from our lips. It is the Lord who sends peace and lifts the darkness in utter despair. It is the Lord who is the only true Hope in this world. And I will sit down and listen and create what I hope will encourage this family during this time knowing more than ever that all I ever have to offer is Jesus.