Without hope, I couldn’t keep going on. I’d just give up and let life trample me into the ground. With hope, I am always able to at least peek my head out from my hiding place to see if there’s a path to a better place.

I was born with a good, steady supply of natural optimism. I am a half-full kind of person. In fact, I’ve driven many coworkers and friends to distraction by constantly looking on the bright side.

Even so, without hope, my optimism would turn sour and rot. It would dry up like a fat maple tree seed in autumn and catch a ride straight out of town on the next incoming breeze.

Optimism is a part of me, like my now graying hair, too small eyes, and too wide hips.

Hope, on a completely different hand, comes from outside me, like a gift left on my doorstep from a secret admirer who yearns to be discovered. Hope bubbles up as if from our bellies in an unexpected giggle over something we’ve seen a hundred times before but never reveled in till now. Hope is the bright white cloud floating across that impossible blue sky, waving hello.

Hope comes from the place where God designed my soul, a place I can’t remember but will always know. Hope waits for you to turn your head away from the misery of this world just so you’ll see the wink and heel click jump before it skips away.

Hope. Look for it. It’s right there where you never expected it to be, camouflaged in plain sight, a chameleon perched on a sunny windowsill on a dreary, rainy day.

Amen and amen.

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