Where You Might Find That Elusive Thing Called Hope

Maile and I sit at the tiny kitchen table in my parents’ basement. Christmas music plays quietly. Cade and Lucy are asleep in the other half of the basement, Abra and Sam sleep back in the bedroom, and the laundry turns in its erratic rhythm. We are counting down the days until we can move.

But there is peace here, in the midst of a slowdown in work, and living in tight spaces. And a stupid speeding ticket. There is peace in the midst of more doctor’s appointments and more words I want to write and an overwhelming desire to contribute.

I’m not always sure where this peace comes from, but I have a feeling it originates mostly from hope. When I’m hopeless, I’m peace-less. Hopeful, peaceful.

* * * * *

As we sat at the table, Maile pointed out an article at Yahoo.com about the parents of Columbine shooter, Dylan Klebold:

When asked what they would say to Dylan if they could speak to him now, Tom says, “I’d ask him what the hell he was thinking and what the hell he thought he was doing!”

Sue’s answer is a revelation. She says, “I would ask him to forgive me, for being his mother and never knowing what was going on inside his head, for not being able to help him, for not being the person he could confide in.”

I think one of the quickest ways we lose hope is when we stop confiding in people. When we start providing all of the answers to our own questions.

* * * * *

I received an email from someone I met on the interwebs. She told me she was walking through the valley. She told me that sometimes she came pretty close to losing all of her hope. She told me that reading one of my old posts (“You Will Want to Give Up. Don’t.”) is one of the few strands that she can hang on to.

And I’ll tell you this – her simple act of confiding helped to pull me up out of my own downward cycle. This, I think, is what happens when we confide in one another: outside voices, even desperate ones, carry their own small vein of hope. Because when someone confides in you, or you in them, something besides the words is communicated.

There’s a chance I’ll get past this.

There’s a tiny possibility that we’ll talk again, in better times.

Even though I sometimes want to give up, I hope.

Don’t keep all of that sadness or depression or madness to yourself. Find someone to confide in. You might find an unexpected hope.

6 Replies to “Where You Might Find That Elusive Thing Called Hope”

  1. Great article, Shawn. Reminds me of a dark time in my life, 5 years in a depression, and I remember thinking about the scripture “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” Janes 5:16. I interpreted that for myself as confessing my weaknesses, inclination towards anxiety, worry, depression, and hurt feelings. When I did that, it was so much easier to let go of those negative attitudes, forgive myself and those who hurt me. Our attitude certainly determines our state of hope or despair, and forgiving sure helps us to move forward in hope. Thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to have weaknesses and talk about them to a good friend. Hope…confident expectation…that God is at work.

  2. It takes a humble person who has faced their own grief (or IS facing their own grief) who can answer with Sue’s answer. A proud and angry answer is usually quite different!

    Maybe it’s a big, fat, juicy joke the dark side is playing with us – judge people to keep them from confiding in you, or keep them thinking the Big Man and His Kid are judgy too and therefore not confiding in them. Cuz if we lose hope, they got us. And they laugh because they know the truth and they kept it from us.

    Just this morning I was pondering this tight place of my own, the commonness of it all and how I want to lean into Him and glorify Him in the ordinary. Yet I have this desire within for great things to bring a great hope to many.

    Love your writing!

  3. Shawn – great post. Hope is the blood that pumps life back to our hearts. Often the Darkness that clogs our thoughts and strains our hearts will ease up with the simple Grace of telling. Have a happy move.

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