Problems arise before my feet hit the floor, as the cold rain of fall is heard tapping on the metal roof. Hanging up the phone, I kick off the warm cocoon of covers, and then stare at a cobweb in the corner. Overnight, someone’s world has changed completely and forever.
I make a mental note to knock down the web. The same mental note I made last week but never followed through.
Still in my robe and slippers, I make my way to the kitchen for coffee and to begin preparing pears for a cobbler to take to the family who lost their loved one overnight. Words frequently fail me at times like this. What words of hope can I offer to comfort my friend’s whose heart now carries a void?
The pears, now cored, pealed and chopped into bite-size pieces are placed into a Pyrex dish with lemon juice. I pick up the dark carmel colored seeds and drop them into a zip lock bad, then over to the compost jar on the counter to scrape pear parts into the pre-mulched container. These seeds, pregnant with the hope of spring and of warmth, of growth and bright colors, bring a shimmer hope on this dreary fall day.
Combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter, I drop the crumbled mixture over the top of the pears and push the dish into the oven.
Returning to the seeds, my fingers chase them around in the clear plastic bag. Mighty trees encased in patience, hoping for the spring when they can fling off the confines of their small to live as they were created. Small seeds – the hope of new life.
The promise our hope is built upon is living with the one our soul desires. To no longer live in a place where homesickness plagues us daily and sorrows are many, but to finally return home, where we belong and are loved and where they rejoice in our coming even when our feet are still a long way from crossing the threshold.
Hope’s wisdom is patience,
Hope’s virtue is faith,
Hope’s motivation is love.
Pulling pears, all bubbling in syrup, from the oven and resting them on the counter to cool, I try again to craft words to say to my friend to encourage her, and to give her hope. But hope that resides in our heart does not always bloom in words, sometimes it’s in the quiet, unseen growth deep in the heart, knowing there is more than this life.
Maybe I’ll simply take the cobbler to her and sit with her in the quiet – like spring seeds in a season of fall.
How do you encourage hope in others?
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