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.
Seeds of Spring in a season of Fall are hope in the life of a believer. Hope is the active expectation of a promise given by God through Christ into the heart of those who love Him. <tweet this>
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?
Latest posts by Diane W. Bailey (see all)
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Dear Diane ~ You’re so right. Often there are no words. Just the invitation to be present, to sit together in stillness.
To share a hot cup of tea. And warm pear cobbler straight from the oven.
Thank you Linda. Sometimes silence is the nicest gift …and being there is there
Your response is perfect. Often all we need when the shock of losing a loved one makes us feel like we live underwater, like we just want to sit in the ash-heap and stare off into space, is just the quiet presence of someone who we know cares. I know that was true for me.
What many don’t realize is how long we need that comforting presence and understanding. It’s not just in the moment or the first week or first month. We still need that care and understanding when people forget the sorrow we carry that never completely goes away.
A year ago, I wrote this post after a UCLA football player was killed unexpectedly when hit by a car: http://debbieputman.com/help-for-the-grieving/
Not long before that, when someone told me she was tired of my having bad days, I wrote this about the pain and life-change losing a child has–well beyond the time society thinks we should put our pain aside and continue on as though our lives have not been altered forever: http://debbieputman.com/help-for-the-grieving/
I apologize for linking these posts if this is the wrong forum, but this subject is one that started my journey as a writer.
Thank you for being a wonderful friend,
Debbie, Thank you for much for your encouragement, and for sharing this post. I have never lost an immediate family member and I am at a loss as to what to say. I do know that wE all grieve in our own way and in our own time. I’m sorry you were not given that gift by some.
Thank you for confirming that just being there and quiet for as long as it takes is enough. Hugs, Friend.
love this dear friend…hope IS a seed
Thank you Mary! Though you are far away, please know I sit on my couch quietly and think of you.
Thank you also for the tweet. Love you, Friend.