My friend Kelleigh says “Hope is something you don’t know you have until you don’t have it.” It seems that this is when we look at those who have hope and it is like a lighthouse, it seems to provide a path to safety. This is what Kert Nerburn writes about in his book Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace. He said,
We are not saints, we are not heroes. Our lives are lived in the quiet corners of the ordinary. We build tiny hearth fires, sometimes barely strong enough to give off warmth. But to the person lost in the darkness, our tiny flame may be the road to safety, the path to salvation. It is not given us to know who is lost in the darkness that surrounds us or even if our light is seen. We can only know that against even the smallest of lights, darkness cannot stand. A sailor lost at sea can be guided home by a single candle. A person lost in a wood can be led to safety by a flickering flame. It is not an issue of quality or intensity or purity. It is simply an issue of the presence of light.
This imagery of hope as light reminds me of the children’s song, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Children’s hope lights the path for other children’s hope. Our hope as adults lights the path for other adult’s hope. Hope has the power to pull us through the challenging times in life. As my friend Kelleigh suggested, we always have it, but we rarely give thanks for it because when we do not need it we take it for granted. Our ability to maintain hope in all circumstances comes when we engage in other practices that support it. For example, when we are patient, then it is easier to hope that things will work out the way they are supposed to. When we have courage, then it is easier to hope that everything will be okay. When we are persistence, then we know that no matter what, we will be okay because we have hope for the best of circumstances and possibilities. Hope helps us stay optimistic about life. It helps us remember to dwell on the reminder that the best is yet to come. Hope is about focusing on the best and avoiding the paths which lead us to focus on the worst. There is no negative energy in hope. Maybe that is why I forget to turn the lights off in the house. I want the light of hope to shine throughout our home. This day and all days may we let our little light shine.