Share Hope this Season

Rob Wetherington
Share Hope This Season

Hope is something most of us don’t take a lot of time to consider, but this season we’ll see it referenced on cards, in store windows, and in commercials with shiny cars and big ribbons. We might think of “hope” as something we’d like to have happen… as in, “I hope we have chicken potpies for dinner.” And, honestly, that is spot on since savory pies are not only delicious, but are, with no exaggeration, the perfect food this time of year. But hope is so much bigger, weightier, and impactful than anticipating a fleeting desire like, “What’s for dinner.” Hope dwells in the realm of metaphor; like planting an acorn for the next generation to sit within the shade of an oak. These elements, the arborist, the acorn, the tree and those who follow all rest in the same hope together as hope transcends linear time melding past, present, and future together in a moment.

So, while chicken potpies are, again I am not exaggerating, the most pristine and perfect food that has ever existed in humanity’s history… when we experience deep and genuine hope it is for something more than simple pleasure or immediate gratification. Holding hope, in this fleeting/all-encompassing moment, is an immeasurably heavy and emotional experience. 

The heaviness of this experience, holding hope, is so difficult and rare we celebrate the thin spaces where these moments occur. Marking them in our memory, cherishing them for lifetimes, and sharing the stories to inspire others coaxing them to enter such vulnerable spaces. Diligently preparing and pushing to reach the championship, seeking and finding love, sharing and campaigning in support of societal change… these are the places hope enters our lives. While we all support your desire for your bus to arrive on time and for it to have the new hard plastic seats it seems trivial to expend “hope” on a regular Tuesday morning. But, if that bus arriving on time is taking you to a life changing interview, to your own personal meet cute, or to a place of deep healing then, by all means, from the depths of our hearts, let there be hard plastic seats! What makes the act of seeking hope so vulnerable is succumbing to our own individual frailty. We must wrestle with our ego and admit we are not in control. We can prepare as much as possible, we can believe in the just and true nature of our path, but we cannot force or guarantee our desired outcome.  And, in doing so, we release the fantasy that we each, in our own way, are the center or main character of the world. Told you it was heavy.

Alright, so hope is long-term, and, in it, we accept our powerlessness… what’s the good news?

That’s it. That is the good news.

Hope is not about us, individually, but about us collectively. And it’s not about what one person can make happen, but what we all can do together. Hope is meant for sharing both in its burden and in its joy. From the vulnerability of not knowing the outcome to the community support regardless of ending because none of us are in this alone. When we share hope we model how to engage with it together easing that burden of vulnerability. It checks the ego highlighting the need for others in our lives grounding us in humility. Hope is such a powerful thing we save it for this time of year. When seasons change, the air gets crisper, the night comes quicker, and we reflect on the past. And, in that reflection, is appreciation for what has happened and anticipation for what will.

This season, as you’re engaging with hope please consider how you can help others get a taste, a hint, a glimpse of goodness. While our neighbors struggle on the streets and next door let’s remember we are in this together. Let’s share what we have and inspire others to do the same. Life is heavy and the burden hard, but when we carry it together we’re much more likely to leave a legacy filled with potpies, shady trees, and hard plastic bus seats.