We Sing Hope
I spoke with a couple of my friends at church yesterday, one who lost her mother and another who lost her pregnancy. I don’t know either of these pains, so I’m reluctant to try to touch them with clumsy hands. But I love these friends, and so I want to get close, even if I don’t know what to do when I get there.
It’s been a few months since L. lost her mother, and it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind when I saw her. So I asked the casual, “How are you?”, not thinking. But L. is unafraid of brokenness and truth, and unspilled tears brightened her eyes as she admitted, “I’m doing okay today. Some days are harder than others.”
And I realized that that kind of pain doesn’t just stay tucked away where you can access it at a convenient moment for catharsis; it becomes a part of your life, and some days are harder than others. When I saw F., I knew better than to ask. Her pain was too fresh– I knew what the answer would be. So I just hugged her and told her I had been thinking of her because I had no better words.
When I think about these dear friends, I see what strength and beauty they have to keep showing up for life. They have experienced devastation, and no one would blame them if they hid in bed and refused the new day. I’ve done it for much less. But even if they know it will be a hard day, they get up, they show up, they face it. And I don’t know how either of them can say they’re well when asked by an unthinking friend, but somehow, sometimes, they can.
We sang a line in the church service yesterday that proclaimed,
“What though I wait the livelong night,
And till the dawn appeareth,
My heart still trusteth in His might;
It doubteth not nor feareth.”
After the service I asked our worship leader how we can sing with integrity lines that we don’t believe. Because I don’t know about you, but my heart sure as hell doubts sometimes. He answered that he believes we can sing our desires even when they’re not true for us at the moment, and I realized that this is what my friends do.
They sing hope.