Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can You Define "Hope"?

Thinking about the word Hope this morning for a couple speaking events I have scheduled. Words fascinate me, and I think about them alot. One part of writing I love is finding just the right word. Even speaking in a casual conversation, the right word matters to me. If you look around our house youll see how much I enjoy words - there are books everywhere. I'm noticing this right now because I'm looking for a specific passage from Madeline L'Engel on Holy Innocent's Day and a recipe I made 20 years ago around Mardi Gras time. They are both in books I would never, never have thrown away, so they're here. I just have to find where here is. But, back to particular words.
Hope is a word which has eluded me and caused quiet a bit of pondering for me through the years. A long while ago, I even considered tagging myself, "Writer of Hope" after reading a book by painter Thomas Kinkade where he explains his label "Painter of Light". I have a mental picture of hope from the book "Pilgrim's Progress" - now there's another book I need to find so I can reread that passage. It's also here somewhere.
Before Christmas, our senior minister was asking about my writing when we were at a party. After telling him of my journey, he asked if I'd speak during the sermon he's doing in January on - you guessed it - Hope. Then last night I got the line-up for a women's conference I'll be speaking at in February and my passage focuses on - say it together - Hope.
So what do you consider Hope to be? How would you describe it? What does it mean in your life? Seriously, I'd like to know. And if you've never thought about it before - here's your chance!


VickeyBanks said...

Hope is what we most need. I know, because I almost lost it.

Life got really hard a few years when our small family experienced three deaths in a two month period. Added to that were some other types of significant losses. Although I had been on the front lines of ministering to others for years, I found myself dangerously overwhelmed by despair. I knew God and His Word well enough to know that Hope was possible, because HE still WAS, so I desperately held on to His promises...literally! I wrote or printed out Bible verses and song lyrics proclaiming the Hope that IS because He IS. I posted them on my mirror and car dashboard, carried them in my purse and pockets, walked around with them clenched in my hands. I read them over and over and over again. Said them out loud to be sure I heard them. And thanked God for every Bible study I'd ever done and every verse I'd ever memorized.

Hope is the assurance that God holds on to us even when we no longer feel we can hold onto Him. Hope is when His promises seep into our very souls, bringing warmth and sunshine to dismally gray and dreary days.

Hope is what we have when we have Jesus. Always. When we take God with us everywhere we go. When we remember that we are never, ever, ever truly alone.

Hope is everything.

Because of Him,
Vickey Banks

Kay Dew Shostak said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Vickey. You've definitely given me some direction and some wonderful thoughts. Thanks again.