T.S. Eliot penned the line “April is the cruelest month of all.” I have a different experience though. I often find May most difficult. In May I recall the birth of our son, Jamie, and I often succumb to a blue, blue funk as I miss him, and all the might have beens. I also think a lot about my mother. I am glad that she is not around for this virus. She was a very anxious person and these times might have unhinged her. As I spend time in isolation though, the thought still comes “I should call, Mom.” It is just a fleeting thought that flickers and passes but like a jet over head it leaves a vapor trail of sadness.
I have a lot of time lately to nurse these thoughts! It would be easy to let the melancholy overwhelm me. My usual tools for staving them off involve busily engaging with those who are in need, and I can’t do that as I used to. Instead the chief and only effective tool for battling despair is “hope”. I have a plentiful supply of that! The scriptures are replete with promises of God and perhaps the dearest is that He is with me in and through it all! Hope has a name, and his name is Jesus!
Hope though, is not plentiful in the world today. The things people had put their trust in are failing or have failed them. In this world things gain value primarily through their scarcity. The hope I have in abundance is in short supply. The hope you have in Jesus is in short supply! It is desperately needed by our friends and neighbours.
Peter writes “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for hope you have. But do so with gentleness and respect.”
In my experience people rarely explicitly ask about my reason for hoping but they are curious and open, especially in these days. People are easy to engage (even from 6 feet away) on the scary topics of today and it is natural, like never before, to share our reason for hope. This testimony to our reason for having hope can easily be accompanied by an inquiry into what our friend or neighbour hopes in or how they cope.
I often read or hear people rail against the 1% who hoard the wealth in our world, but we Christians are now the rich! We are the ones in possession of the scarce and valuable resource. We are the ones who have “been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus.” Let us not be hoarders. Let us share the hope with those God brings across our path.