Hopeby: Caroline Hand //// June 16, 2021
I can see God giving out thin slips of paper to His people. As the church, in unison, unfolds their notes, I see people reading the rectangular paper quickly and then placing them on their hearts. People are moved, touched, tear-filled. I watch as those papers are absorbed into their very beings and people begin to hug one another out of sheer joy.
I wonder, am curious, what could possibly be written on those thin sheets?
I see one laying next to me, so I bend down and pick it up. Unfolding it slowly I can feel something significant taking place in me already as if a key is entering my locked heart. In bright, gold, glittery lettering the note holds a single word: “Hope.” I look around me once more and realize, quite suddenly, that in the past the church has held a heaviness in the air, but now, in heaviness’ place, a sense of celebration, triumph, glory. I follow what others had done and place this note on my heart. I watch it sink in and wait. Almost instantly, I feel different.
Hope — it feels light and yet weighty. Like wide skies and deep anchors. Like honey and wine. It’s as if purpose like golden glitter flows through my veins and bones. So, this is what hope feels like. Along with it, I feel a readiness, an urgency. To do the hard things God has called me to. To love those around me. A bucket of water and a bottle of lavender soap appear in front of me. I bend down and begin my ministry of washing feet — hope accompanying me with every bubbly sud.
John 10:10 — “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (MSG)
Ephesians 6:10 — “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” (NKJV)
Psalm 118:5 — “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free.” (NLT)
Psalm 18:19 — “He brought me out into a spacious place.” (NIV)
Hebrews 6:19 — “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (NIV)
Song of Solomon 1:2 — “For your love is better than wine.” (NKJV)
Psalm 119:103 — “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (NIV)
Mark 12:30-31 — “You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with a passionate heart, from the depths of your soul, with your every thought, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.’ You will never find a greater commandment than these.” (TPT)
John 13:3-5,14 — “Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron… ‘So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet.’” (MSG)