Do you know that one of my favorite things in this world is hope? It's like one of the pillars of my soul. It is apart of my genetic make up, if you will. Hope. Hope silently whispers in the darkness, "There is more." Hope offers a small shred of light gleaming in the unknown and uncertainty. Hope is a beacon that keeps the game going. Hope though invisible, has constant physical manifestations.
Sometimes it feels like there is no hope. We look around this world and see so much evil. There is true darkness that resides in open places here in our very own city, country, and across the world. Shocking, horrifying things that are so frequent, it becomes desensitizing. Where is the hope in this? I don't always know.
I just know that in my own life, the source of stability, life, peace, joy, and goodness is my Jesus. It is because of Jesus, I have hope. It is because of Jesus, I make the choices I make in my life. I chose to stay in CA and not move to the gorgeous state of WA. I chose this in the face of financial distress with no solid plan. I chose this knowing it was right, and my hope and faith in God would come through. And so it did. This is one example of a lifetime of examples.
Today Caleb told me he wanted to make a Christmas list, and that item number five on that list was "a doggie." Our brief exchange went as follows:
Caleb- "You know what the fifth thing is that I want for Christmas? A doggie. We don't have any pets."
Me- "We don't. But you know what? I already have a child and that's enough for me."
Caleb- "...that will soon have a dog."
His instant response was speaking about himself with rather high hopes. In fact he said with certainty that this child I spoke of (him) would have a dog. No ifs, ands, or buts. :) His certainty is amusing to me, but nonetheless, there will be no such dog in my house while I am a single mom. I really need zero more things to deal with.
I think this is part of what makes this season of Advent leading up to Christmas so special. We daily go over material which talks about our living hope, Jesus, who came down to earth as our Immanuel. God with us. What a special thing to have, this Immanuel, the living hope.
Praise be to God for that. And you know what's cool? No matter where you are in your life, you can speak to this living God. You can seek him. Because as long as you have breath to breathe, he is there. Waiting. Loving. Wanting to be with us.
I have written about my neighbors before, these sweet old folk. Today the old man, whose name I learned is Abbas and who is from Iran, came to greet us. He again called Caleb his grandson and asked him if he knew his mom was number one. He told Caleb he was a good boy with a good mama who is number one. Caleb looked at me and asked incredulously, "Mom, how old are you?!"
A little later, Caleb and I were walking in the park and saw our neighbor Abbas again. Abbas bent over, kissed Caleb's head, and told me how he liked him. He told Caleb that he must like his mother and that I am number one. Then he took ten dollars out of his pocket and gave it to me as a gift for Caleb. I leave encounters like this with a heart touched by the love and care of another, as well as a little mind blown.
While I greatly appreciate his kind words to my boy and I, I love the time he takes to check up on us with his broken english. His care and his time that he shares with us is admirable and kind. Sometimes, the hearts of people melt me, just a bit. What a gift interactions like this are. We get to have so many of them too. We are fortunate to have these elder folk so regularly approach us with such kindness and regard. Sweet things in life look like this.