Hope Restored

Dear One, It’s been awhile and I sure have missed you! I hope you are well and I certainly pray so.

So tell me friend, how was your Christmas? I received thoughtful gifts from both my hubby and son. One of the gifts from my son was a mug with a picture of Yoda on it that reads, “YODA Best Spiritual Director”😂🙌. But I think my favorite gift was one from God. One that was a very long time in coming. A re-gift, really, all wrapped up in hope.

Listen in and I’ll tell you the story.

In my growing-up-years and beyond, holidays were often spent at my Aunt & Uncle’s house. We’d walk in the door to be greeted by the heat of a crackling fire and the warmth of every.single.person (we’re talking 30+people) standing up to hug us with great enthusiasm and flare.  After a bit, we’d all form a line to snake through the kitchen where we’d pick up a dish or two to take with us as we descended the dimly lit stairs to our gathering place in the basement. And it was there that we’d feast around a pingpong table laden with food.

After dinner came the best part of all. We’d make quick work of clearing the table and then 20 or so of us – pingpong paddles in hand – would crowd around it to begin a raucous game of round robin.

The cheers were loud and the competition stiff as we played round after round. A kids round. A round for those who were blind (yes, really). An over-60 round. Everyone got a chance to join in on the fun. 

It’s one of my very best memories. But the experience of it has been lost to me for the past 2 decades.

You may or may not know that back in 2004 my body broke in rather unexpected ways. I was left unable to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time (if that) and in constant pain. Amongst other things, this moved me to the sidelines of our family pingpong games.

Well friend, in the last several years my body has been healing bit by bit. There are still many things I can’t do, but this Christmas, when we gathered (thank you vaccines, boosters, and rapid tests!) guess what I did? I played pingpong. You better believe I did🤩! Round robin. And I laughed and cajoled so much, running around that blessed table, that I actually lost my voice!

And the next morning, alone with God, I cried.
I cried because something that was lost to me was returned.
And when that happens, it’s the best gift ever. 

 “People don’t cry when they lose their hope,” Martha Beck says, “They cry when they get it back.”

 I have a new appreciation for all the rejoicing going on in Jesus’ parables of the lost things recovered (son, sheep, coin). It is powerful to have something that left you turn around and head home into your long-awaiting arms. 

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.”
Psalm 126:1-2

“Restored,” in this Scripture passage, means brought back. When something or someone was lost to you (or you to it) … and then brought back.

I pray this for you, dear friend. It may not be pingpong. It may be hope or courage, faith or friendship, or a nice long hug. It may be something in your mind, your body, your soul. A dream, a desire. Lost things found. Brought back home.

These last years have taken so very much from us.
May something, anything, large or small, in part or in whole, be returned to you. Restored to you. Brought back to you.

And may you receive it with joy – as a sign of hope – as a gift from God.

Hope Restored: Our Little Life Words of the week. 

DEEPER DIVE

Ponder:

  • Who or what has been lost to you?

Practice:

  • Write to me, someone else, or even yourself telling your own story of something lost, restored. Brought back.

Play

Pray: Restore my ___________.

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