What is the source of “love” and “hope”?

Something I’ve discovered about myself is that I can be snarky. I say that not with pride, but as a confession. Ugh. I tend to play devil’s advocate in just about every conversation and every discussion. I just can’t help it!! I try to reel it in as best I can, but sometimes, the snark takes over and I’m sitting there like a high schooler with their arms crossed ready to give my contradicting opinion. Can anyone else relate? You’d think I would have outgrown this, but alas, I haven’t.

If anything, it may have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. When people talk about how everything is awesome and their lives are all rainbows and sunshine, I’m all sorts of, “Whatevs.” Because I know it’s not. Not everything is always awesome and our lives are not always rainbows and sunshine. Yes, God is gracious and I feel (and am!) so very blessed! But perfection does not lie within the walls of my existence. Maybe in FB land, but in the land that I live in and in my own personal experience, it’s not.

As in, for example, right now. When schedules have been turned upside down and the normal day to day life that we’re all used to dramatically stops, I’d say that life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. I’d say life just got not so much harder, but scarier. We’re all faced with getting potentially sick or someone we love getting sick with a virus that is very much out of our control. This is a time in history that forces us to face the reality that we are not in control.

Someone I know sent me this beautiful piece of writing by an Irish monk:

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

-from Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland
March 13th 2020

The above is all about hope and love through these precarious times. But guess what? My snark came out. Yes, hope and love can be seen even through this difficult situation that we find ourselves in, but hope in what exactly?? And what is meant by love? That word love has been so twisted and bent this way and that, I cringe whenever I see it used so freely. When the rubber meets the road, there has to be something more substantial to back up what potentially can be just “pie in the sky” thoughts and words.

I was talking about it with my very awesome husband, and he wisely pointed out that in reality, we all need hope and love, even if it’s not directly pointing to the LORD. Humanity needs to have a sense of hope and love especially in times of uncertainty. And all we can do is pray that this hope and love people are invited to take ahold of will get them seeking out the true source of those two things. Ultimately, the only hope and love that is rock solid and matters comes from Jesus. He is our hope. He is love. Pure and simple. And I believe that these difficult times can help wake us from our stupor of comfort and routine, and force us to seek out the true source of hope and love. Not just hope in hope. Seriously, what even IS that?? Or the nebulous love that the world embraces. But the firm and solid hope and love that the Word of God preaches. It’s a hope that doesn’t fail. It’s a love that doesn’t ever forsake us.

And that’s the hope and love that I pray for all of us right now. I’m so thankful for beautiful words written by an Irish monk about hope and love, even if the LORD is never even mentioned. He doesn’t have to be. He’s there whether we recognize Him or not. I pray those words will be used to start the journey towards the source of all our hope and love. And in case you weren’t paying attention, that would be Jesus. Can I hear an Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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