Hope has been weighing heavily on my heart this past week.
Why? I have no idea. I can't say for certain. But I do know the hope filling my heart is for this world we wake up to every day. For my hometown, my state, my country. For every country.
Maybe it's because the last few weeks Mr. B and I have been watching the news every night. (Actually, he watches the news, it's just I can hear it from the kitchen. And I'm not sure if he's actually watching; he's the kind of person that needs background noise while doing something else. I prefer silence.) I know it's important to watch the news, to know what's happening in my community and in the world, but I don't like it. It's one bad story, one negative view, one complaint, one terrifying possibility after another. And it's the same disheartening segments night after night. I don't want to watch the news. I know bad things are happening all the time. Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. Because we have free-will. Because people make bad choices.
But here I am, waking up morning after morning for several days now with nothing but hope. Hope. Hope for...I can't even explain it. Hope that we're not all bad? That today nothing catastrophically devastating will occur? That tonight's news might feature more positive stories than negative ones? That there's the slightest chance there is more good happening in this world, if only we'd look for it and focus our evening news on those deeds...?
Hope. I have it for the big and small. For struggles within ourselves and our community. I found the following image on Pinterest and printed it out. I keep it in my Bible so I can go directly to the scripture I need when I'm at a loss for words, reason, understanding, when I'm confused or hurting. Imagine this world if we turned to God's word first, if we remembered his promises.
I found this prayer on understanding, as well.
The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 was the first time I realized I lived in a big world. I was 8 years old and, on April 19, I became fully aware that the news is for more than just weather updates and school closings. A big world existed around me and it's not nice. It's hard. It's mean. It's selfish. It's judgmental. It can be downright awful (leaving me screaming and crying for Jesus to.come.back.right.now. <--- I understand why he hasn't; that's a whole other post and would require a lot more of your time and patience). In case many of you can't remember what happened that day, here's a snippet from the Oklahoma City National Memorial web site:
On the morning of April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a rental truck with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and at 9:02am, a massive explosion occurred which sheared the entire north side of the building, killing 168 people...Following the investigation which resulted in the execution of Timothy McVeigh and the sentence of life without parole for Terry Nichols, the surviving structure was demolished with explosives on May 23, 1995. The entire 3.3 acre site subsequently became home to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, a place to honor the victims, survivors and rescue workers, and to learn the impact of violence.
We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.
After, I remember vividly Garth Brooks' musical tribute to this devastating event. Click here to watch his heart-wrenching video, The Change, and have your tissues handy. It's here to remind us to look for the good when tragedy strikes. There is always good. There is always hope for change, for more good.
As long as one heart still holds on then hope is never really gone.
With Love and God Bless,