The name Eyes of Hope is a funny thing in my life.
My husband David and I chose the name several years ago, when we were taking steps toward pastoring a church together. He told me he remembered Brent Rue giving a sermon about living life with eyes of hope, and that he still felt inspired by the message to that day.
But I could never understand why hope was so important. What was the big deal? How could seeing life through a lens of hope make anything better? Didn’t hope deferred make the heart sick anyway? So why set myself up for that? It simply eluded my grasp, and frankly I didn’t spend much time trying to understand it. David had been inspired and I loved that, so we made it our own.
We haven’t started a church, and aren’t completely sure what God is doing with all that we did in that direction, but since choosing that name for ourselves He has certainly done an awful lot to show me why living with hope is important.
So, I find myself thinking about hope this week, in response to a question posed by Mark Thomas during Bible Study. He was teaching from the book of Habakkuk, and asked us if we thought the state of the world was getting better or worse. Most of the room agreed everything is getting worse. I didn’t. I said I felt some things are actually getting better. That didn’t go over very well with some, and with the sudden presence of strong emotion in the group I didn’t take the time to explain myself.
But there are so many things in this world that are getting better.
Although it is not on a global scale, my marriage is getting better – it took a true miracle to heal and repair this home, and it’s better than it ever was, and better than I had ever hoped it would be. God has not ceased his involvement in our personal lives, and He continues to work good things out for people every day. Making us better. Growing us, when we are willing, into better people with better lives than we would have without Him. I look around and see so much brokenness, so much pain. But I thank God it isn’t all I see.
On a larger scale, I have been thinking this week of the ways disabled people in my nation are treated better than they were before, and the benefit of an education upon the next generation, and how very far we have come in the treatment of people who are different from us in race, color or creed.
I have been thinking of people who are calling the Church to wake up from a sort of academic slumber and reclaim the rich cultural and historic, knowledge-filled heritage that our faith was built on. And the ministries of groups like Compassion International and Bread and Water for Africa who make living conditions in impoverished nations better for the people who live there.
I have also been thinking about the advances in the medical field that are, overall, getting better with time. Not only do we have a wider range than ever of pharmaceutical and natural options for the things that ail us, but we are far more educated about the human body than ever before. Things that would have killed us in times past are mere stumbling blocks to those of us with access to these improvements.
The world is getting better in so many ways. If we lose hope for this, what are we left with? When I lived without an understanding of hope, and when I lost it for my marriage, it became much easier to just let it go. But I was a fool, and I’m thankful God worked in us both to save what He has given us. Because it’s getting better, so much better.
In the beginning, God made this world and made our ancestors in it … and called it good. He put it in our care. It takes effort, and it takes conviction, understanding, compassion and even hope, but we can care for His beloved creation. We can and must see through eyes of hope in order to continue bettering this world and all that is in it, following God in His own redemptive, restorative, loving way, for as long as He chooses to have us here.