There Was Hope
I saw branches.
An endless covering of hateful, barbed limbs, crowded over a hopeless earth.
Two thousand thorns looked at me with venom; two inches long, branches bare and strong.
They looked as though they had been there for a hundred years – posture curled, filling the space, fixed in their place.
Holding a silent anger as they brooded over the dejected land they so viciously guarded.
Without warning, a violent wind broke the stillness.
Howling blasts began to shake the thorny branches.
A cyclone of calculated chaos pulled at their pride, overwhelming them, ripping them from the ground, and hurling them.
Thousands tore past me in a blur.
I stood in the whirlwind, rattled and overwhelmed.
While the thundering surge tore on around me, I found my own spirit churning in anguish.
Unable to control my sobs, I let go of my self-possession and let buried groans of sorrow lift out of my throat to be cast-off.
I howled with the raging sky.
I cried for my family, the ones lost.
I cried for my children.
I cried for the heartache of soured love.
I cried for the injustice of life’s burdens and for the torture of living life being misunderstood.
I cried for wasted time, wasted chances, and wrong turns.
With words etched in my blood, I cried.
In ancient lament, I emptied myself.
Until every tear had been shed.
And the wind stopped.
I saw a clearing.
The humbled thicket bowed in surrender to the wisdom of the wind.
Breath touched the dirt floor of the clearing, and there marked a boundary.
The dark earth suddenly became aware of its nakedness – how long had the thicket clothed her in enmity?
She laid there, powerless and pained to see the sky looking back at her.
Ashamed, she had no living green to share.
The blessing she had longed for with every pass of cloud and drop of rain, became a legend she had stopped believing for.
But to the sky, the soil was clean and ready.
With no rain, and nothing else exceptional to give credit to… the hope-gift lifted and uncurled from the soil.
A small, green stem stretched toward the sky. A promise of a large bloom capped the slender stem, and beautiful leaves decorated each side.
The soil burst with joy and moved closer to stare at the little marvel, with its pale fuzz covering the stem like a sweater. She wondered what color the first bloom would be.
The old is gone; the new has come.
She was grateful in that moment, for the pain of the torrent-wind was also what brought her the gift.
There was hope in her now.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
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