I finally picked up the newspaper that was left abandoned by the gate to our country home down the road. When I opened it up to scan it for something of interest to read, this headline struck me.
It struck me because at this time last year I had just lost my oldest son. Our Michael died on December 21, 2015 due to complications with hydrocephalus. There were (and still are) many, many tears. It would seem I had no reason to hope at the close of last year, but we as a family resolutely and defiantly did hope despite our deep loss. We had faith that no matter what came our way, God wants us to hope in Him and not our own feelings. Did you notice how deflated people felt at the close of 2016? People were sort of punch-drunk with the loss of so many Gen-X cultural icons and they were hung over by the time 2017 rang in. But, “my hope is in the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Ps121) and not in the survival of loved ones, not in prolonging living, not in acquiring more stuff, not in even being healthy. My hope is in the Lord.
I read Pope Francis’ General Audience: On Weeping and Hope from Jan. 4 where he recalls a prophecy of Jeremiah who says, “there is hope for your future”(Jeremiah 31:17) despite your tears, devastation, your exile, your disappointment, your loss, your bad day, your crappy year. Despite it all and through tears, there is hope.
“The tears generated hope. And this is not easy to understand, but it is true. Many times in our life tears sow hope; they are seeds of hope.” Pope Francis
I challenge you to look for and pay attention to the new growth that tears have watered. Every ribbon pinned on a lapel is a sign of someone’s hurt and hope through struggle but not everyone marks their hurt with a ribbon. Truth is, every one has a story of hurt and loss and struggle and that’s precisely the broken place where God’s healing grace can come in and our tears mingled with his are the rain of springtime that will yield its flowers in time.