Friday, November 20, 2015

Spark of Hope

Once again (or, perhaps still), our country – our world – is in chaos. Shootings and bombings fill our newspapers, television media outlets, and social media formats. Stories of death and destruction reign. Our conversations swing from righteous anger to uncertainty and fear to sorrow and grief.

This morning, I was completely prepared to be inundated with these same stories and responses as I opened my Facebook. And, I wasn’t disappointed. Sure enough, the debates and fury and horror stories were still there.

But as I scrolled a little further down my feed, I saw a picture that stood out to me. I’d seen it before, but this morning it was a pleasant and needed surprise. It was simply of a couple winter coats wrapped around light poles. Each coat had a tag on it saying that they were not lost coats, but rather were there for anyone who may be cold and in need of warmth.

With a small smile, I continued my scrolling, past more devastation and bullying, and made it to a video clip – a mother of a 3 year old autistic girl was thanking a stranger who’d been on a plane with her and her daughter. This stranger – a business man – put away his papers and spent 2 and a half hours playing with the young child, giving her and her mother the best plane ride they’d experienced.

These weren’t the only ones that touched me. Scrolling through more depression and the few jokes and quizzes, I stumbled on a few more stories that brought a smile to my face – stories that brought hope.

That’s what we all need right now. And it’s not that difficult to do. Every time we do something kind for another person, we are giving hope to someone. Every act of generosity spreads this hope. Every opportunity we take to show God’s love, we spark hope.  Maybe this is taking a few hours out of our day to entertain a child, or comfort someone who is grieving. Perhaps it’s by giving a coat to someone who is cold, or a hot meal to someone who is hungry. Or maybe it’s even just by giving a stranger a smile or a “good morning.” Regardless of how we display God’s love, we have the power, from the Holy Spirit, to spark hope in others. 

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