blog, mental health, spiritual

Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness

I recently began working at a local homeless shelter and addiction treatment facility. I interview prospective students who want to join our year long program. When asked to share a bit about themselves and why they want to be part of the program, most often I hear haunting words that echo through my soul:

I just can’t do this anymore.

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Each time the words are whispered, I remember the moment  I also whispered those very words.

Perhaps, those words are some of the most powerful one might ever utter because the moment the words leave our mouth, we’ve come to the end.

The bottom.

The choice to stay or to move forward.

I just can’t do this anymore.

Have you been there?

The point of hopelessness?

Some refer to hopelessness as hope deferred.

I think more of us need to admit our moments of hopelessness.

Our moments of

I just can’t do this anymore.

I think admitting such moments brings hope to those behind us and serves as a reminder to ourselves of the things we have overcome.

Overcomer.

A word that makes me smile.

Hope.

A word that energizes my heart.

May I tell you a tiny story about hope?

I lost my hope once.

Completely.

Lost.

Seemingly forever.

And yet in the midst, as if the world is a magic treasure box and I, the master of the box, I ever so slowly lifted the lid.

There.

I find a bit of hope’s treasure.

A bumblebee swaying to the rhythm of a pollinated flower.

His wings flutter to the whispers of the wind.

Hope

Can you see it? Do you feel it?

As you stand still in the moment.

A bumble bee, reminds us of hope.

Look with me through the box.

Music.

Do you hear it? Listen.

There.

There it is again.

I smile as an older couple begins to dance to the music.

The lady with a cane and a man with a smile.

I smile again because:

Hope.

I take a deep breath as tears begin to fall because hope’s treasure also has an uncanny way of redirecting us back to love.

There it is again.

I open my hand as if to grab hold of what I thought was lost.

I close my hand and hold it against my chest.

I look up and smile. Then close my eyes and take another deep breath as I whisper a tiny Prayer:

Thank you. For Hope. In the midst.

Wow.

Our stories are powerful.

One day, you will sit with someone who shares with you the very words that you once whispered and believed of yourself.

Perhaps the most holy words one might declare in their lifetime:

I just can’t do this anymore.

And in that moment, hope and hopelessness will collide like a spark.

And you will be the hand that reaches out and the voice that whispers:

Hope.

It’s here.

And I’ve been there.

This is what we were created for.

To be beacons of hope.

In the midst.

I’m not sure if there is anything more holy than sitting with another as both hope and hopelessness collide.

Sit with the broken heart that hopelessly proclaims, “I just can’t do this anymore” and you can be certain you have just heard the purest of prayers and a last cry for hope.

Sit in that moment and experience the divine.