What happens when Hope is Broken?

What happens when Hope is Broken?

I have this small standing figure in my living room, or maybe I should say … I used to have this small standing figure…the Angel of Hope. 

But several months ago, it did not sustain the move well and landed on the hardwood floor, breaking of the arms and leaving the candle of hope broken on the floor.

 

For some reason, I’ve not been willing to part with this piece, not because I need to hold on to one more thing, not for any other reason that it seems I’m just not willing to throw hope away. Hope is essential in our lives. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, hoping that the day will be better than the day prior, it’s hoping that better things will unfold, that what God has promised will come into being. Hope is what keeps us going at times. There is a host of verses from scripture that speak to hope providing strength and life. And so I have often wondered since this piece fell to the ground and broke … what happens when hope is broken?

Yesterday was a strange day. A sad day and one filled with emotion. So much so that even though I find myself on vacation, I felt the tug to say something as we find ourselves bewildered over the events of yesterday on Capitol Hill. Regardless of where one might land on the political spectrum, it appears that we can agree that what we witnessed yesterday is something that has never been witnessed in our lifetime.

After a quiet morning of sleeping in, enjoying my cup of coffee while reading, I had made the decision to choose hope. Regardless of how the day might unfold, I would remain hopeful that things would be ok.  However, after running a few errands, and sitting down to work on a puzzle while watching Congress debate to affirm the electoral results, (I know … I really know how to vacation, don’t I?!) I quickly found my hope in humanity diminishing as I couldn’t believe my eyes, watching in real time the Vice President rushed out of the room and other congressmen and women leave to seek shelter. I don’t have to replay the scenes as I’m sure you have already watched the same scenes as I.

A host of emotion flooded my mind and heart, and like what I suspect many of you felt, I was flooded with all the emotion (anger, sadness, embarrassment, even some fear and more). As the emotion rolled around, I began to wonder what happened to my hope that I started the day out with. What happens when hope is broken?

I don’t come out of vacation to write and share answers or tell you all how to feel this morning, because quite frankly … your emotion is your emotion; and you are allowed to feel the way in which you feel. 

As the day progressed, the words of Psalm 46 – which you might know by now is my go to – surfaced, but not the reason one might think. But rather, verse 6 that speaks to ‘the nations are in an uproar… the kingdoms totter’. I thought to myself, ‘well, that speaks truth for today, doesn’t it?’ 

As I kept recalling the rest of the Psalm, the word Selah stands out, which if memory serves me well, can mean a break or pause as well as forever

Which tells me that maybe we need to read and reread these words, pause and settle our heart and mind, and realize and live and lean into the promise that God is God … forever. That there might be chaos in our own personal lives, in our country, in our world … but stop what we are doing, lay everything down, right and quiet your heart … pause and live and lean into the promise that the Lord of hosts is with us…forever.

Yesterday, the nation was in an uproar, and clearly there are things that need to change, there are some deeply rooted systemic issues that need to find a way to change to create space for better ways of living, right and fair ways of living. 

And because of Covid-19, our lives seem to be in chaos and uncertainty… But when we read this Psalm, we can also read that God has been, God is and God will always be God and in our midst. Yes, there are rocky roads, challenges, upheavals in our lives and in our systems. 

Friends, it is easy to get sucked into the news and watch it like a bad train-wreck in which we just can’t look away, but maybe today, today is a better day to turn off the news, and practice some self-care. Read something from the Psalms, go for a walk, call a friend, read a book, play a game, spend some time journaling or in prayer and pray for our country … all while remembering that God is still God, and is in our midst.

Remembering these words of the Psalmist is what then reminds me of the hope that I have…that there will always be brokenness, there will always be people I don’t agree with, that there will always be something chaotic, that will attempt to break my hope that better things are on the horizon. (and no, this does not make me a happy-go-lucky type of person, it makes me live and lean into the promise that while things might not be ok now, they will be at some point better … so I’m going to keep living and looking forward and remembering the promise that God is surely in the midst of it all type of person.)

My prayer for you is that today, you will find some hope, some good and take a break from all things media, and pause to remember the promises of God that stand forever … 

I think today, after shutting the computer back down, I will go for a walk and spend some time in prayer … I invite you to do the same!

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

How’s my vacation time going? It’s truly great! And yesterday being Epiphany and today being the Orthodox Christmas Day, I will be enjoying a beautiful bowl of homemade Borscht!

Peace be with you all, today and always, and I will look forward to seeing you all when I return from my time away!

Pastor Kendra

 

 

PS, for some reason the picture resizing isn’t working right now, I’ll take a look at it later … for now, I have a walk to go on and a puzzle to complete! 🙂 

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