3…2…1…Hope

When it’s time for me to write, I light a candle. It was a suggestion from Bob Goff’s book Dream Big, not specifically (he puts a hat on), but a piece of writerly advice to signal the brain that it’s time to write. I love it because it also reminds me of why I write. To be light, and through my writing, give light (hope) to others.

It’s only a small single flame. Not much light at all- especially during the day. But interestingly enough, if I were to take my candle into my closet and surround it with complete darkness the flame wouldn’t dull. In fact- and you know this- it would be brighter.

Because darkness can’t eliminate the light when it’s shining. It can only accentuate it.

New Years Eve was so different this year. The images of New York with masked MC’s and people in spaced out pens reminded all of us watching that 2020 has been a shared experience that no one will ever forget.

But even with the evident changes in celebration the overall spirit of welcoming the New Year seemed palpable- especially this year. The sentiment seems collective: Good riddance 2020! We’re counting on you 2021!

Hope.

It is necessary for survival.

I have ALWAYS loved New Years Day. A New Beginning. A New opportunity to choose again. A fresh page on a new planner. A new HOPE that THIS year will be better than the last. (They should probably sell 2021 planners a month a time with all the “pivoting” going on. 😉 Maybe the “month of the month club”?)

But there was a part of my spirit that was hesitant. A tiny thought that maybe 2021 won’t be better than 2020. What if things don’t change? What if they get worse? I quickly silenced that voice. They have to.

The truth is, I’m not sure what the future holds for the New Year. But I do know, that we have to HOPE.

“Had to have high, high hopes for a living…” – Panic at the Disco

I’ve heard depression defined as the feeling that current circumstances will never change. And as someone who has experienced clinical depression in the past, I concur. Hopelessness is a rabbit hole of mental-ill health and honestly, that has been one of my greatest concerns during this Covid crisis. I worry about people with no hope. And I understand the desperation for a cure, a champion and a solution to our current problems.

Hope comes through each other. It ebbs and flows from person to person and we need to cling to hope even if its source doesn’t come from within us. Especially when it doesn’t. We need others to see and find the hope, he light in the darkness, and pull us toward it collectively when individually we don’t have the vision or the strength.

The good news is: You only need a little. Like my candle in the closet, a little light is enough to show the way out of the darkness. Hope lives on, no matter how small.

If you are a Jesus follower than you have Hope even if you don’t feel it. It is there. Maybe you need to surround yourself with more light-givers. People who will light your path and fan the small flame of Hope in your heart.

Hope.

It is necessary for survival.

Be the Light.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:4-5

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