Wednesdays with Jillene: dare to hope

IMG_8115I’ve tried to convince myself it is a perspective problem. You know, a glass half full or half empty kind of thing? But no matter how I look the glass seems broken, shattered, beyond repair…

The extent of brokenness seems to ever grow and diversify as each day passes. But the heart of the matter is the same…

brokenness.

Turn on the news, read articles, dive into blog posts, scroll through social media and time after time I’m faced with it…

brokenness.

Brokenness of individuals and of humanity.

IMG_8117Again, I say it, I’ve tried to shift my perspective, convince my pessimistic heart I just need to see the glass from the full side, the world from the positive, but I can’t because we (together) are… and I (individually) am…

broken.

Look for the good, you say. Don’t focus on the bad. I have and it still comes up riddled with the shattered.

It used to be said, “Never discuss politics or religion at the dinner table.” But what happens when you should? No, what about when you need to because politics and religion are real life? But we can’t discuss.. and that is the problem. Have you ever noticed that no one seems to agree? People can’t see eye to eye much less dialogue?

Where one finds solution another argues, vehemently and diametrically opposed.

Where one takes action another cries foul.

Where one seeks resolution another tears down deeper.

Arguments, schisms, name calling, divisions, attacks, and the like grows beyond to (the even more unspeakable) hate leading to violence, hurt, damage, the taking of lives…

(have I said enough to show the burden, the weight, the brokenness?)

It seems never-ending, always broken, without hope.

IMG_8124

It doesn’t matter how you rearrange the parts, the shards cannot become whole. This isn’t an algebraic problem waiting for the right function, coefficient or equation to be applied to make clear the answer. Something is missing.

We need to look up.

We dare to hope.

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the faithful love of he LORD never ends. His mercies never cease.

There in Lamentations… buried in this book of deepest grief we find the source of hope. In the midst of brokenness… hope. Not in ourselves. Not in each other. But in God.

We have to start there, outside of the problem that is inside because truth finds He is in deeper than any reality we can see, any factors we can experience, any solution we can imagine.

So, I suppose, it is to look into the deepest places of where we are knit together to the One who made all things, who knows all things, who will heal all things…

Not that the brokenness can heal itself. No. Not that the destruction was going to immediately be restored. No.

Lament is still lament: an expression of greatest sorrow, deepest sadness.

Things were broken. In the brokenness hope is not found.

Yet, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Hope is found in the Lord.

And while I am not facing the desolation near the extent that sourced Lamentations… what I do find is still dire:

brokenness.

A word I’ve typed no less than 10 times in this post and did it on purpose because I think it has to be addressed. I can’t find how the pieces become whole. How they ever will look anything but shattered.

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But the answer is not found in the hole.

It is found in the whole.

The wholeness of God.

This… this is the how, this is the why I still dare to hope.

Not in humanity’s goodness. Not in our ability to achieve peace. Not that we will set things right.

But in God.

19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness

is bitter beyond words

20 I will never forget this awful time,

as I grieve over my loss.

21 Yet I still dare to hope

when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!

His mercies never cease.

23 Great is his faithfulness;

his mercies begin afresh each morning.

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;

therefore, I will hope in him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,

to those who search for him.

26 So it is good to wait quietly

for salvation from the Lord.

Lamentations 3:19-26

That, there is the message my heart needs to hear. As I face another day of brokenness inside and out… this is where I need to start. I cannot ignore the ever-present shattered pieces. I cannot find wholeness in the holes of it all. I cannot minimize the tragedies.

Yet, I can still dare to hope as I remember the faithful love of the Lord.

So today that is where I start.

Maybe you as well?

~Jillene


 

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