Hoping for the best

So many bad, painful, shocking things have happened recently – to the world, to people I know.  What’s a body to do – retreat into the dark and never come out?  Cry until there are no tears left?  Never dare, never change, never try anything new?

Never hope?

This week started for me with stomach-punching bad news about someone I know.  Later that day, I saw two rainbows.  Looking out at them, I remembered about hope.  Life is often terrifying and cruel.  You think you’ve had your quota of trouble, and another thing happens.  I would never presume to speak into someone else’s pain as if I understood so I won’t, I’ll just say it to myself.

It strikes me that, after however much time is needed, there is an eventual choice of response when life gets ugly.  That’s where hope comes in.  I have to wake up in the morning with it, walk through my day with it, and lie down to sleep, still hoping.  For what?  For something good to happen, for things to get better, for the ability to survive the day, for friends to come.  Only a few examples, but I could list a hundred more.

If we lose hope, all that’s left is fear.  And I don’t want to live like that.  Do you?

I wonder though, if a person in our lives is in despair, can we be the one to bring a little hope in?  Sure, we can’t conjure up rainbows or say anything that would remotely help, but sometimes just being there can make a difference.  I know that. I’ve experienced it many times – a random text, a bunch of flowers, a home-cooked meal on the doorstep.  And every time, I’ve started to believe that things would get better.  I’ve started to hope.

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