maybe there’s always just a little hope

don’t let the calm fool you | Orkney Islands 2005

Seems silly to say, but it’s strange how truth keeps being true. How sayings can become trite, because they’re overused, but they’re overused because they are true again and again and again.

I am apparently fixated on beginnings. Not surprising as I find myself currently at a starting place. But I am recognising how much I expect a restart to not be different — that only the very first beginning is a beginning, with all the uncertainty and ignorance, and that the ‘beginnings’ that follow that first one, allow you to enter in with all your knowledge and experience, so you’re only slightly lacking and very soon get to skip past that pesky phase.

Beginning is beginning. Why not think of it in its glory? The freshness, the discovery, the surprise. Why is knowing better than mystery? Why is now better than not yet?

And here’s what I wrote on day two of that fateful week [14 February 2012]:

Oh to believe. Strange how much it can fluctuate between one moment and the next. And nothing much even has to happen to cause the change. Just time. Seconds passing quietly can wreak just as much havoc as a few tumultuous hours.

She sips her coffee quick-slowly — a quick lift to the lips, a slow swirl on her tongue. What does today hold? Or this week? Each time she tells a friend her plan it seems to both expand and to tear a little. And through those rips is where the hope leaks out. But only after it grows a bit. So maybe there’s still the same amount of hope? Maybe there’s always just a little hope. And never much more than that.

Perhaps it’s like the mustard seed of faith. It in itself is not the thing that grows, but from it grows life, expanding ever outward and upward.

But who is she? What could someone say of her? Seems taller than she is, but still fairly short, curves, curls, red red hair, twinkly eyes, a good mouth, a laugh that invites you in and delights you, clever, creative, dreamer, can see inside, knows the depths, listens.

What could she have been if her confidence hadn’t been crushed or shushed? If she wasn’t taught that creativity was a hobby by ones who’d never really dared to try themselves. If who she was hadn’t been formed into a muddled mess that looked all right on the outside, but just didn’t look like her.

It’s always the middle that drags. She begins well. You do when you have ideas and a heart. But once she’s begun, she’s lost. Maybe that’s where belief and hope come in. The real kind, that belief and hope in God kind. A God who actually cares and creates — a God who doesn’t just begin and end things, but comes right into the midst of them. (Midst sounds so much better than middle.) But God comes right into the middle (and muddle) of things, too. Emmanuel — God with us. Maybe our only ability lies in our choice to begin and our choice to end. And we can only manage the middle (the sky between the branches) with God’s help.

She thinks she might be beginning to see. And that of course means that now, she’ll need God’s help to keep seeing.

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