Saturday, 21 January 2012

the hope is real

I saw that same look once in a refugee camp in Mozambique.
I remember it like a photograph printed on my heart. And I saw it again here, in her eyes.

Their faces always flash before me, like images scarred into my soul. Like memories that grow strong across the ether of the past and the present. When darkness and stillness surrounds the four walls of my room at night, it gets all too real. A pain so real that I so really surmise what it means to share in their sorrow. So real that I can still feel their grip in the groove of my hand long after they've let go. So real that I can feel their tears in mine, and hear their cries in the voices in my head. But when I saw that look behind her eyes, she wasn't just a 12 year old girl. She wasn't someone child-like and wide-eyed. Instead, I saw that same look I had seen in the eyes of the young refugee girl, of a youthfulness that was taken. That same look of brevity I saw in place of possibility, and a senescence that had stolen all innocence. That same look where the decrepitude had replaced fortitude. It was like beholding someone much older inside the body of someone so young. But yet, there was more to the look that someone who had lived much and suffered much. Their eyes told of someone who believed, much.

Even though the pain is real, the hope is so real.

And when the heart seems so cold that it forgets the warmth of the light, when the tears have dried up the truth behind the eyes, I'm reminded of that look. I'm reminded of their hope. When I really don't know if I'm coming or going. If I'm giving or taking. If I'm making or breaking. When I don't know if I'm living to die or dying to live. When my words aren't enough and my works (certainly) aren't enough. When my heart longs to stay for what is true and right, for the black and white in a world so full of the grays... I'm reminded of a hope that transcends. I'm reminded of that hope in the lyrics of songs that are heard long after the band has left the stage. "In the words of the prophets, written on the subway walls". In the still small voice that whispers in my night. And so I continue to kneel beside the bed of diseased, rubbing her head hoping my hands will at least be some comfort in the midst of her pain. I continue to hold the hand of the orphan and wipe away his tears, hoping that my presence will be some comfort in the midst of his rejection. I continue to walk with the poor with the semblance of a smile, hoping that my love will be some comfort in the midst of their poverty. Even when my face cracks dry from the salt and I hide in the private places that are anything but peace, the hope is all too real. Even though I go back inside my four walls after the little ones are tucked in, only to taste my own tears, I continue to hope. These tears are kept taut by the hope that is too real, even in the reality of pain. And through the pain, the fire, and the flood, I'm drawn more to the Transcendent.

So I continue to live for the absolution through days spent in green pastures and others that are by the valley of death's shadow. For the redemption that lies beyond what I've seen and where I've been, beyond the dust I tread in and the brokenness that is within. For the volition of a life surrendered among the poor and the broken who show me how to love and be loved. Because for those who have ears to hear, there is a truth that whispers that life is more than what we're going through. And a hope that reminds us of what is yet to be even in the reality of what is, and of what has been. In everything from the menial to the metaphysical, we are creatures who need to be reminded of a grace that is bigger and a life that is larger. For something beyond the aftermath of our human-condition and the afterthought of our post-modern existence. Even as I look inward, I'm holding out hope for a reality which seems so far from real, and for being more than what I am now. The way of my tears leads me to my knees for that hope which will bring down walls and right all wrongs. For that day when all of creation rises with the wings of the dawn, and a world where refugees belong. And in that hope, I start to think about the little ones who I would call my own one day. Even in the crushing sadness it causes to think that they are already walking this world, brought through a birth canal into an orphaned existence, I continue to hope for the day when their eyes meet mine. When I can see the look behind their eyes. And as I fall to my knees as an incipient father, I put my hope heavenward to the Father of the Fatherless who holds us safe in His arms and in His love.

Yes, a day will come when we will live in the light of hope, in fruition and not expectation. 
But for today, you and I need the whispers. 

You are more than what you're going through. Listen to the whispers. 


  1. Blessings to you, Jobes. Keep shining bro!



  2. your words always stir the parts of my heart that need stirring. thank you.

  3. I sat here all night reading your posts with tears escaping from eyes. You are the answer to many prayers and I want to thank you. You are hero in my eyes.


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