Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Hope is a fragile thing
I was painting another section of our family room today. (someday the whole room will get done, it's more than half way there now!) This time I had to do the corner where my collection of crosses is hanging. I had to take them all down. Move the bookcases(we are book addicts so there are bookcases in every room) and paint and them put everything back. Bob and the older boys are gone on a mission trip, and the little ones were begging to help. Well, I am not dumb enough to let them paint! So I gave them the job of dusting all the crosses. Naturally in the process one got broken, but we glued it back together. Interestingly, it was one that said "Hope", it was given to me last Easter my my neices. Now, I worry a lot about my neices for many reasons, but I have hope that they will turn out OK. Looking at that cross as it sat waiting for the glue to dry, I thought about what a fragile thing hope can be. I saw my daughter's face when it broke, the hope that she would be forgiven. Of course she was forgiven. She had that hope because she has made many mistakes in her life and been forgiven many times, as have I. My son on the other hand had a different reaction. His first reaction was to try to hide it, even though I was in the room. His second was to make sure I knew it was not his fault and he became angry. He seemed surprised at first to be forgiven, and then behaved as though it was expected. There is a difference between expectation and Hope. His reaction showed that he felt that he did not deserve any consequence. My daughter on the other hand who has lived in a family much longer, knew that she might deserve a consequence, but she also knew that her mother is often merciful. She also knew that sometimes she is forgiven AND has a consequence. She understands all this. So she had hope. My son does not hope for things very often. He has had a lot of dissapointment in his life that has taught him not to hope for anything. He is slowly learning that promises are kept by some people, that some people will not leave him. We are teaching him about God who has loved him all along and never left him. The God who arranged an incredible series of seeming co-incidences to bring him to our family. I occured to me even more that a cross that says hope is so fitting. Wihtout the cross we have no hope. Not only the obvious idea that we would have no hope of heaven, but what the cross also represents is that God loves us, He loved us enough to give up his son, that means he probably also loves us enough to take care of the smaller things in our lives. (it's all small compared to eternity!) If he didn't care what we did, or what happened to us, what would be the point in hoping for anything? My friend has a little girl who was in worse straights than my son. Her orphanage experience was far worse, but she never gave up hope. I am not sure what the difference was. Maybe that my son was alternatly spoiled and abused and hers was mostly just abused? I don't know, but God does. I also know that God is working in my son's heart and in her daughter's heart. Both children have a lot of physical issues to deal with, but I think God has great plans for both of them. They are both now in loving families, learning to trust and learning about the God that loves them so much. I can't wait to see what he does with them. I have great hopes for both of them. And as long as I keep my eyes on my Father, that hope is not fragile at all, but stronger than steel.