“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” Anne Lamott
For a world-class worrier like me those words ring true. Hope does begin in the dark. It’s like Easter in that way. It begins in the early dawn when we aren’t quite sure what we’re seeing, when there’s a lot more doubt and panic than faith.
Hope begins as a glimmer, the faintest sort of thing, that if you aren’t looking closely for it, you miss it.
I miss it often. I’m not one of those people who sees God all the time in every single moment. I sometimes envy those people who are able to do that, or claim they’re able to do that, but I’ve never been one of them. I tend to remember later what happened, that thing I saw, and then I’ll think, “Wow, what was that? That was no coincidence.”
But even then I’ll be skeptical about it. And it’s not that I don’t want to give God credit for much of what happens. It’s that I don’t very often know what to make of what happens in my life. Was it God? Or was it something else?
Sometimes I don’t dare to let myself think that God would do something wonderful for me.
A few months ago, in a really dark time, I saw a glimmer of something and wanted it to be a reason for hope. I kept looking, and as Anne Lamott puts it, I kept waiting and watching and working. And today I’m pretty much convinced that I saw something. Some people around me knew what it was before I did. One person I know who claims no faith – at least not in any conventional, church-going sense – said, “That sure looks like God to me.”
She was right. And so I thought, “If she can see it, then it must be something I should pay attention to.”
I hope to get better at this as I get older. I’m working on it. I would like to notice – a little earlier and with a little more certainty – what God is up to in my life.
(Photo credit: That’s Anne Lamott.)