So I’m sitting here on a faux leather couch, looking out at the snow crusted pines surrounding an icy lake in Colorado. Our rental cabin is a 70’s throw-back, about to turn the corner on kitsch. The sun is shining but not having its way on the log shed covered in a foot of snow. My smile is undetectable to the world, but I feel it none the less. I’m reading friends’ post-Christmas glow reports on the book. No, not the Good Book, the Face Book, silly.
One friend is sinking a few million into a new project, another is folding wrapping paper for next year. My sister is getting clobbered by Tupperware with no lids. Kids are in a lot of the posts; kids in Santa hats, kids in cowboy hats, and kids playing in boxes. Pets are big this year, dogs in Santa hats, dogs in antlers, dogs in boxes, and dogs just sleeping one off.
It was a good Christmas for me, we got to be with our little family (without our dog). The best in several years. We took a family photo. Yea, there was some white space but to us, it is still filled. In prior years I’d get moody, I’d well up, I’d disappear. This year we cross country skied with our youngest son; he didn’t break anything, and he didn’t get lost—not once.
So today I read some more about an old friend who has inoperable brain cancer, glioblastoma, like John McCain. But there wasn’t a hint of sorrow or pity or self-indulgence that she’s entitled to, even on her birthday. I just never knew how people I knew in junior high would continue to have a meaningful impact in this old man’s life.
I’m a member of double digit grief groups. That’s a lot of grief. And today a member posted he was planning his death, another posted he was humiliated at Christmas by his ex and her family, and yet another told about the anniversary of a sorrowful death.
It’s not just grief I read. I read hope. Hope. That’s what this season brings. Each post I read was reaching out, each of them had hope. Hope in a cure, hope in a new project, hope that someone out there hears them and cares, hope that they will see tomorrow. If they didn’t have a shred of hope, I wouldn’t know about them, I couldn’t care about them, I wouldn’t be able to reach out to them.
Hope. Where does it spring from? Back home, my dog stares at me intently, hoping for a walk. Underneath the snow out front is a seedling, hoping for some sun. Hope. But our hope comes from something much deeper, something eternal.
Our hope starts with a small baby, stretching his lungs searching for his first breath. The father takes him and lays him next to his mother before laying him in a cow trough. Only clean straw and cloth lay between him and the filthy world around him. Hope for all humankind.
In this world, if this crusty old whiskered man can smile, even if no one can see, even if no one is looking, then my friend there certainly is hope for us all.
Hope, that’s it for today. Hope without a plan is just a dream but we don’t have to make a plan today do we? Sure I planned a book, I schemed, I plotted, and I connived. I didn’t give up, I persevered, blah, blah, blah. But in the end hope endured. Hope won the day.
I’d love to hear about your hope by contacting me below.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1Corinthians 3:11 (ESV)
Andy is a Clinical Psychologist who lost his son in a tragic motorcycle accident and now authors articles on bereavement. The quiz is available! Go to http://andymdavidson.com/Home/Pgd to find out if you may have Prolonged Grief Disorder. Look forward to his upcoming posts, and book, “When Sunday Smiled.” Follow him at his website, AndyMDavidson.com and Facebook.com/ThroughLifeandLoss to find out more about grief.