Monday, December 9, 2013

Hope is for the Foolish Ones

I lit the Advent candle by the lights of Joshua Tree. (I always name my tree Joshua. For Yeshua, our undying hope, and because of a certain favorite music album by a certain favorite band.) I read the day's prayer of longing and hope, and sat in the half dark, bringing to God the dark things waiting for His light to dawn. 

Waiting is hard and hope a reckless necessity when a bride is dying of cancer. I begged God to shine on my friends Josh and Jean, and still the updates of her battle were filled with anguish and little hope. 

That was last year.

Hope isn't for the blithe. Darkness and longing must be faced in order to know how to watch at the window for the first streaks of dawn. Only those whose eyes are trained to peer through the night will catch the moment it begins to pale.

Hope isn't for the times we feel we can control the ending of the page or the chapter, or even know the end of the book. We're allowed to seal our hearts against it, if we want. God lets us choose numbness and despair, in cowardice and pride refusing to open ourselves to the possibility that we do not know and do not rule. 

Because hope is an admission that we are not in control.

It's foolishness to sit in darkness, asking God to rise like the sun, when you have said the same words over and over for endless weeks while the waiting grinds on and you have no proof God hears. Only a fool will stand in defiance against suffocating despair and proclaim, "Even if God isn't listening and these are only words, I WILL SAY THEM." 

And this is how hope redeems us of our pride.

Because hope is only for the foolish who gamble everything on God... The reckless ones who are brave enough to admit we can't see the end. And can't begin to control it. 

Hope is for the foolish ones who trust the One who knows what it is to be blood and bones and walk in dirt and cry over dying ones He loves... and wait long and hard until He shows up... whether in this age or in the next. 

(Thank you, God. Thank you that Josh still has Jean this year.)


Anita said...

Beautiful words that give permission to hope. It's the foolish ones believe light will come. Thanks for reminding me!

Happy Valentine's Day said...

I think it's a mistake to ever look for hope outside of one's self. ... into foolishness and peril, made them risk their lives and lose their wives and part with fortunes ...

Brian said...

I keep coming back to your post on poverty/privilege, partly because I feel so absolutely clueless about it in a lot of ways-- I have my own soapbox on "poverty" in our Menno circles that I am not sure yet I can share in a way that is passionate and redeemed. :) I so want my heart to live humbly and compassionately, and I loved your sharing your heart on this issue.

The odd thing is tonight I checked in here, and the title of this post grabbed my heart-- I know I read it earlier-- but somehow it felt like a gift of courage and strength and hope. I have felt so blindsided with an issue that has raised its head again in the last several months, and feel myself slipping into second
guessing everything about everything and feeling so much fear about both me slipping back into unhealthy ways of relating/dealing with life in general, and being thrown to the "wolves". :) Your words offer hope, and so much courage to live a "foolish" life-- to wait with strength until "He shows up."