Christmas is more complicated now, with its layers of meaning. Joy can no longer be wrapped up with a tidy bow. But, for me, this year, since I cannot have the world as it ought to be, I’m determined to find beauty in the yearning.
Years ago I was very good at hope. I could hope for a more celebrated position, flatter abs, or to cross the finish of Ironman. I was also good at setting goals to achieve these ends: I put my head down and knocked them off. The elation of accomplishing these goals and garnering a little attention for my efforts was a great high, but unfortunately it did not usually last long.
As I read the headline yesterday, my heart began to pound and my throat closed up: “School Clerk In Georgia Persuaded Gunman To Lay Down Weapons.” This was a good story—ultimately a hopeful one—but all I could see was “school” and “gunman."
Those of us in violence-plagued neighborhoods look forward to winter's reprieve. Our teenagers understand Advent waiting all too well.
I'm particularly eager for Advent this year. Perhaps it's because recent world events have been so relentlessly grim.
After her bleak diagnosis, Julie Anderson Love learned that hope has nothing to do with passivity. She was, she writes, "the patient from hell."
1 Peter says we should always be ready to give a reason for hope. Always?