I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it.
I sat. I walked. I tried several approaches, but there it all was…so much. Friends who were told they no longer had a job after decades. Friends whose grandbaby was born too prematurely to survive. A friend whose father died, and the grief was compounded with guidelines and complications associated with COVID. Racial tension and inequality. Political divisiveness. Mean-spirited abuse in marriages and families.
But then I heard about a local employer who was generously reaching out to employees and the community, prompting employees to feel comforted and supported by their workplace’s COVID guidelines instead of inconvenienced or ignored. I learned of a pregnancy and birth that defied the odds. An acquaintance received medical news she had been waiting for a long time to hear. I processed with a college student about her experiences and conversations with others in her community.
None of the good outweighed the bad. The joy and relief of some didn’t cancel the anguish and heartache of others. But it provided the context of hope. It reminded me of the importance of that context.
Hope doesn’t erase the pain. It doesn’t purge the turmoil or ease the uncertainty. It provides context. Hope stands firm before, during, and after the good and the bad. Hope is one of the least chaotic things I know.
Sometimes hope feels elusive, perhaps a bit like sand. The grains easily slip through an open hand but can also be formed into something beautiful and more lasting. And there is certainly a lot—more than enough—of it.
Place today in the context of hope.