Holding on to Hope
Updated: Nov 29, 2020
This weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving. We intentionally paused to name our gratitude. This year many of us will offer our thankfulness in the midst of loss, hardship, and the experience of navigating the storms. It is a beautiful offering.
A couple weeks ago I sat down to draw an image of a figure surrounded by a storm. I sought to process and pray my own heart. The storms have been many this year: the pandemic, isolation, conflict, discouragement, and oppression to name a few. One gratitude is the hope God offers in a multitude of ways in the midst of the storm. The source of hope is God Himself... but we see, grasp, and experience hope in a variety of ways.
So I put pen to paper. Wind stirring and sheets of rain falling emerged first. I drew one droplet after another until they filled the page. It was as if the drops were targeting the figure. Then I layered sweeping swirls of lines to represent wind—flowing, moving, surrounding. And autumn leaves released to fall among the raindrops. Beauty and loss intertwined.
But more was needed for there was more to the story. The figure held an umbrella. The umbrella allowed the rain to fall around the figure, but beneath the protection her head was dry.
What is the umbrella you hold in the storm? What stirs hope on this first week of Advent? For me, as I drew this image it was the Spirit's gentle reminder, "God is faithful," that I wrote about a couple emails ago. Advent is all about looking for God's light in the midst of the darkness. Without an umbrella the water can drench you completely, run into your eyes and hinder clarity. What is the Spirit of God whispering to your heart in the quiet moments, offering you a covering of hope and truth?
As I worked a path began to emerge. I drew the rocks one at a time. The path led towards the light—it moved beyond the swirls and the downpour of raindrops. In the midst of the storm we need perseverance and confidence that God is present, guiding, and bringing good out of the hard. God will lead us forward through each storm.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
Are you looking for a meaningful gift for a friend or loved one?
Consider a book or a print. Is there an image that is especially encouraging to you. Prints fit standard mat sizes.
Journey to Become.... $26
Books are also available through Amazon.
Prints and books can be picked up in Hatfield if arrangements are made.