Can you give the gift of hope? My pastor would probably say no. He recently gave a sermon in which he argued that hope doesn’t come as a gift, neatly wrapped up. It requires discipline and endurance.
Hope can arrive as a gift, manifesting itself in that moment it’s most needed. I’ve seen it happen. And, I’m pretty sure we can wrap it up and pass it on to our loved ones. In fact, when we hand down (or tell) our stories, we’re tying a beautiful bow on a gift of hope.
Write About Receiving the Gift of Hope
One summer day years ago, a neighbor unknowingly tossed me a morsel of hope out of her car window. She didn’t know me well. I’m not sure she even knew my name. She couldn’t have known that I was chronically ill, so she wouldn’t have known that the weeds in my yard, the bushes that needed to be pulled out, and the driveway in disrepair embarrassed me. The “Heavenly Blue” morning glory at the base of my mailbox was my singular act of gardening that spring.
Seeing me checking for mail one day, she stopped and rolled down her window. “I want to thank you,” she said. “I leave the sub early each morning and your bright blue flowers never fail to brighten my day.”
Wow. The one thing I’d managed to accomplish wasn’t pathetic. It had made a difference to someone. What a gift. A gift of hope.
I’m sure you’ve got stories, too. When has someone unknowingly given you a gift of hope? Was it something they said? Something they did? Was it their timing?
When did someone work hard to show you hope?
Under what circumstances did hope arrive on its own?
How do You Package Hope?
If you do an Internet search on “Give the Gift of Hope,” you’ll see tons of charities, offering ways to do just that. I’ve used the phrase myself during a bone marrow drive. But donating to charities isn’t the only way we try to give hope.
How do you do it?
I’m lucky to know caring people who endeavor to wrap hope up in casserole dishes, hand-written notes, and prayer shawls. It’s not so much a promise that things will get better, but a commitment that the person who is ill or grieving won’t be alone. Friends will visit, listen, offer a shoulder, and wipe tears. They’ll swap memories and stories.
Maybe the legacy of stories you’ve been working on is your gift of hope for your loved ones. Keep writing. Keep giving.