The Powerful Lens of Hope
Last Sunday all of my social media feeds were full of 9/11 remembrances. They were beautiful, powerful words of hope and love. Hope for the future, love for those lost and their families. The day, while understandably sad, was permeated by that hope and love. It made a difficult day easier to bear.
I’ve been thinking about that all week. On what should have been a dark day, I was full of hope. I was not weighed down so heavily with loss and fear that it was unbearable. What if, I can’t help but think, what if more of my days were made light with hope? Or faith? Or love? I began to think about it more and more. On the days that the news brings pain and sadness, what if I were to look at life through a lens of faith? What if I were to acknowledge the tragedy, but then, rather than bemoan the terrible state of the world, send light and love to those affected by it? What if, rather than becoming bogged down by despair that “there is no peace on earth,” but have hope that “the wrong shall fail, the right prevail?” How would my life be different?
So, I’ve tried to view my life through a new lens. No tragedies have crossed my path over the past few days, but there have been sleepless nights with sick babies, concern over a downcast son and a little too much month at the end of our money. And with each of these occurrences, I have tried to see things through the lens of faith. Faith that it would all work out, faith that there is power greater than me who guides our path. Faith that we would be able to make do with what we have. There have been some kinks along the way, and definitely tempers lost, but there has also been a change in the attitude of our home. Patience has stretched a little further, words have been a little kinder and stumbles have not been quite so devastating.
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage that if you’re afraid of spiders, you are more likely to find them. I’d like to posit that if you looking for tragedy and despair, then, chances are, you’re more likely to find them. However, if you are looking for goodness and hope, it would similarly make them easier to spot. So, rather than read the news looking for death and destruction, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” This doesn’t just apply to world events, either, it applies to people as well. If you are looking for the best in someone, you’ll easily see it. If you are looking for reasons to hate someone, those will be easily noticed as well. Anne Frank wrote:
In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
All she had to hold onto was hope. And even though her story did not end happily, her hope has inspired literally millions of people. This week when things don’t work out, or when the next horrific news report comes through, try looking at life through a lens of hope. A few powerful words of hope and love might be the difference that you, or someone you love desperately needs.