Remember and have hope
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Remembering the Valley
Late Spring in the valley is a season of rejuvenation. The transition of longer days and burgeoning warmth entices vegetation and beast to abandon winter slumber. A crescendo of color besprinkles the valley floor, replacing the somberness of grey prairie fields and barren trees. The air awash with the fragrance of budding apple, cherry, and plum blossoms provides the backdrop for a symphony of buzz, trills, chirps, tweets, and calls. Moreover, energetic chickadees, wrens, woodpeckers, and warblers announce daylight.
Once covered in drab grey now filled with white puffs on an azure canvas, the sky provides a vibrant backdrop for the sun as it journeys overhead, its warmth drying the once damp field and the young boy and his companion lying lazily in the long stalks of grass gazing skyward. Can you feel the grass crushed against your back or hear the birds? Do you smell the dusty odor of fresh prairie grass or feel the mild breeze?
For example, I close my eyes and recall these moments and sometimes recognize familiar smells and sounds today when trekking. Yet, have you ever tried to express a moment, a season of life, or an event to another person? Like the factual description, feelings, and emotions associated with the moment, the late Spring in a valley field—not make-believe or a fanciful place, but an actual tangible experience. Remember and hope.
Expressions of Hope
Whether it was a place of beauty and serenity or the alternative, a dark valley filled with tragedy and conflict— finding a proper vocalization to describe our feelings in these experiences many times eludes us. Interestingly, isn’t expressing our experiences to others somewhat dependent upon their life experiences? A person’s journey? Their time in the trenches? For instance, can someone intimately understand your profound loss of a loved one, the struggle of a terminal illness, the birth of a child, or watching your child graduate if they lack comparable experiences—trekked a similar path? When someone reaches out, do you hear the birds feel the frustration, the pain, the joy? Do you understand—know the agony of a child captured in addiction, suffering from an emotional issue, or the infidelity of a spouse and broken trust? How can you? How can they?
Because, we understand words through our lens. We only see a glimpse and, in many cases, not clearly. However, here is where hope arrives. Because, there is one who understands perfectly. Jesus. The one who opened the way to the Father. The one who meets you on your road to Emmaus. How do you explain or describe His influence or the moving of the Spirit? The emotion, the change in your life, His presence in those dark times—His whispers? Mere words cannot express the deeply personal experience—your journey, one similar of others but intimately yours. Close your eyes, do you remember? Where is the quiet place, your late spring valley, where you return to commune with Him? The One with whom you have an intimate relationship. Do you have one?
Hope in the journey
Even though we may only provide others with a glimpse of what He has done in our lives, they need to hear those experiences. Why? Because they bind us together. These experiences provide hope and healing. If you doubt, read the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, or consider the parables of Jesus. In short, I commend His word to you—Old Testament or New—pick. View the raw expression of humanity’s struggle, joys, tragedies, failures, and triumphs. Filled with relatable experiences, His Word is a tangible expression of others’ sojourn. And how does He express His understanding, His ability to know your struggles? Through His Son. Reach out and touch the hem of His garment. Tell Him because He understands. Where no one else can or will. Because, we remember and hope.
Whether it’s a young boy looking up at an azure canvas surrounded by emerald forests enjoying a moment of solace, unaware of the eventual toll of life, or your particular journey, our lives have a common thread—Jesus. We can read about him, and people can tell us about him, but that is only a glimpse. Because, we must personally experience that step of faith, the beginning of a journey filled with indescribable moments of peaks and valleys, desert wanderings, and river crossings.
And, yes, a young boy and his companion living under the trees.
Tell someone. Above all, show someone the Hope.