“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall
grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:1
One of our greatest signs of Hope is the tiny, tender budding of new blossoms in the spring. I used to love to take cuttings from our cherry tree, set them in water, and watch them blossom at Christmastime. I liked to share them with everyone. They were so beautiful when they opened into white blossoms.
I had a dear friend in our congregation – – Eileen. Eileen was an I Love Lucy kind of person . . . and with a heart of gold. On Christmas Day she would call and say: “Have you got your turkey in the oven?” “Yes”, I’d say. “Let’s go and make some hospital visits” , she’d say.
I always had a bunch of cherry branches sitting in a vase of water – – three tied together with red yarn. I tend to see a lot of meaning within the ordinary, and I thought this was a significant sign of hope to bring to patients. I’m not sure that others felt the same deep meaning that I felt.
Finally, one day, Eileen kidded me when she came to pick me up: “Well here comes Linda with all of her sticks.” They were just ordinary sticks, weren’t they? Brown and ordinary sticks. But deep within held the promise of hope for newness of life.
We often expect God to act in bold and impressive ways. But God comes to us most often in the ordinary events and people in our daily lives. Stay alert and you will be able to see God in your child, your spouse, your friends and neighbors, and the stranger in need. You will see God’s Presence in a baby boy asleep in a simple manger bed of hay.
All that God has promised through the seasons of our lives, through the cycles of creation, through the eyes of a child . . .are all signs of hope.
In all things there is Hope, for God is ever faithful.
I pray that I may have eyes to see the signs of your presence in all the world. And when I am not able to see or feel or understand your presence in my life, give me the faith to trust you fully, and to remain in hope. Amen