Hope against hope; hope amidst the wreckage of shattered hope; hope that is there is hope beyond hope. Faith and hope are finally one. Hope is faith disposed toward the future; it is faith holding on; it is faith holding out is is faith defiantly, trustingly hurled into the present absence; it is handing over our hopelessness.
Did you know that two years ago, Easter was on the 4th? I'm pretty sure it was, because the day after was the 5th, and that was the day my life changed. On the 5th, I was feeling stuck as I was hanging around on the couch wondering where my life was headed, if anywhere. I felt that I could see into the future, and the future? She was looking bleak.
Last Saturday I was hanging around, too. But not on my couch. Nope. No couch in sight. I was hanging from a bolt by my harness while I set up for a rappel. In front of me was the light white-yellow limestone. 100 feet below me was the base of the cliff and my climbing partners. Behind me was a gorgeous valley bounded by evergreen covered mountains to the east and west and topped by a deep blue sky.
Later that Saturday, I sat in church, the only light was the Paschal candle and the lone cantor singing the Exsultet. I love the Exsultet. It is hope flung into the darkness. It is a confident hope, confident despite the fact that there should be no hope.
Today there is a different hope. I woke up this morning to wetness on the ground. We have been so incredibly dry here, that any form of wetness is welcomed and embraced. It is hoped that it will decrease the chance of wildfire at least a little bit. Tonight, the rain has been pouring down. Thunder has cracked and rolled, rain has been coming in sheets and waves. It is a wild hope, this rain, but welcome and so needed.
There have been times in this too long journey that I would rather push hope down and away, because I can't take it anymore. I used to think hope was a happy little emotion. Now I know it is not, but I choose it all the more for that. I want the kind of hope that lasts despite every last shattered dream because it is the hope that is based on faith in the One who rose from the dead. It is my hope in Him, in the Light, sung out confidently despite present darkness. It is wild hope of new life in the midst of the storm.
I guess this is all a disjointed way to say that, yes, I am still waiting. Yes, I still dislike the wait and want it to end ASAP. No, I do not think that hoping means that I will necessarily get what I want, but I do believe that hope kept close as faith that is defiantly and trustingly hurled into the present absence will get me closer to Him. I do not know what the future holds. Never in a million years would I have guessed how my definition of hanging around would change. Who knows how life will change or when?