Do you feel it? Can you feel the heaviness circling around us? It can feel like we are suffocating in despair and sorrow, fear and worry, tragedy and death. The pictures from Harvey & Irma, the pending devastation, the wild fires, and more. My heart breaks constantly and my mind is consumed with images and empathy for their circumstances. Where is hope in these situations?
Where is my hope–who can see any hope for me? Job 17:15
Then with one image, one story, hope can flood all the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. I do not have this image, but was only told of its existence. Even so, I felt its powerful message as the image was created in my mind and then on my heart. It was of a woman, rescued by boat from the aftermath of Harvey. In her hands, the only things she carried and had left in this world were a pair of flip-flops in one hand and a flower bulb from her drowned out home and yard in the other. At first glance you might pity her for the loss and only see the very little she has left. But this image represents a gift. A gift greater than anyone can imagine or see with their eyes.
Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds in the earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30-32
This woman holds hope in the form of a bulb, a seed, in her hand. Hope that she will carry on this journey to her next stop and all the places in between. This image tells us that no matter the depths of pain that she reflects through her face, in her heart there is hope for a future. A future without devastation, away from the current loss and fear that consumes her life today. She carries hope for a new beginning in her hand. One that will grow into more than what it is today, one with all sorts of possibility. She holds life in her hand.
Someday, it may be quite a ways down the road, this little bulb will be planted and nourished in a new home. As this woman looks out her kitchen window holding her morning cup of coffee, she will see what the bulb becomes and remember what it has been through. She will admire its strength and she will cherish its blemishes. And maybe, just maybe, she will see herself in that beautifully strong, resilient and soft flower. For the Lord’s whisper will have grown louder in her heart. She will hear and know with confidence that He makes all things new, in His time, all things new (2Cor 5:17).
From where I sit, I cannot help but draw the parallels to what we experience within the walls of Bridgehaven every day. Whether it’s the loss of a dream, fear of the unknown, or the disappointment of a broken heart; we all, at one point in our lives, have or will experience circumstances that make us cry out in anger and pain that cannot be described with words. The staff and volunteers at Bridgehaven have been appointed to offer hope in the situation of unexpected pregnancy, family struggles and youth sexual and emotional health. We may not have all the answers, but we can plant small seeds of hope that will grow and be nourished throughout the journey.
Join me in praying:
Father, our hope is in you, our faith is in you. We proclaim your promise to bring good out of all things. As our lives unfold in this broken world full of fear and despair, you give us moments that inspire us to stand firm in your goodness of today and hope for tomorrow. Lord, we cry out for those in the path of destruction throughout our nation and across the globe. We don’t understand why, but you do. We don’t have answers, but you do. Help us, guide our steps for how we can be a light, a beacon of hope during these desperate times.