It lays there among the pine needles on the side of the road. A plastic water bottle, cut in half, smashed flat, label smudged, torn. I can’t help but think about how that water bottle would be treasure found for a Rwandan child who has only the clothes on her back today. How what is taken for granted by one, is hope for another.
Two nights ago, my family and I sit tight in a booth at our favorite restaurant, talk about the day, make conversation with the waitress who knows us well. We laugh, get up to hug friends we meet unexpectedly. Take our leftovers home.
I think about meals with my mother, just the two of us at the Du Kum Inn. How we eat there several times a week when we can’t afford to heat our house. Enjoy the fried chicken and the best bread pudding ever instead of our usual Kraft macaroni and cheese with a can of tuna swirled in.
Remember how my hands shake when the bill comes. Worry there won’t be enough money. Watch her count coins, wait to see it in her eyes. The look I rarely see that assures everything will be okay. Feel guilty for what I just ate.
But hope sits close by in the tables I observe around us. The ones with the families and the kids who don’t tremble inside, aren’t worried about how they will pay the bills or if their mother will stop off at the liquor store on the way home.
The distance of time gives clarity because I can see now, how He was with me at the Du Kum Inn. How he cups my face in his gentle hands and moves my head where he wants me to see hope all those years when loneliness is my best friend. When I fear that this is all there is and things may not get better.
Do you see hope revealed in the ones around you?
As I live with the fracture of divorce, the isolation of poverty, the loneliness of shame, He shows me hope in lives well lived. Gently whispers in those young ears how the story of my future is not determined by present circumstances. I hear the whispers now.
Hope is the seer, the watchman who calls out in the fog of the present, guides to destiny when faith is on the fault line.
It led my Rwandan friends, the ones who lost their families in the genocide. They dance with arms raised high, hearts overflowing in adoration and I stand in awe. Borrow hope in the seeing.
Joining Ann today to contemplate the practice of hope in community. I practice hope by observing His goodness revealed in others. How do you practice? You just may be hope for someone watching today.