Feb. 8, 2017

HOPE!

“Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone; you’ll never walk alone.” Rodgers & Hammerstein

I’m sure you remember this really wonderful piece of music from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, Carousel, which debuted in 1945 and is still being performed here and there around the world. This song is sung by Nettie, who runs the local seafood restaurant, after Julie, a factory worker, who has married the incredibly handsome and totally wrong for her carnival barker, Billy Bigelow. Julie has told Billy she is expecting and he, in a misguided effort to provide for his soon-to-be baby, engages in a robbery and is shot to death.

Julie weeps over his body and sobs to Nettie, “He’s dead! Nettie, what am I gonna do?” Nettie replies that she’ll come stay with her, she’ll keep going and then sings, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” This song reduces everyone in the audience to tears and is truly one of the greatest lyrics ever.

Now, with that lengthy explanation, here’s what I want to share with all of you out there in blog-land. There’s a concept going around, brought to my attention by Michelle Griep, successful author and blogger. Look her up, check out all her books and be amazed. Anyway, the concept is to pick one word to be your New Year’s resolution or mission statement for the year. There was even a book a few years back: My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. This is totally cool as you can immediately scrap all those difficult resolutions like reading all the great books in one year, losing twenty pounds, cleaning out the garage, taking all the clothes out of your closet that are really out of style – yes, I know we hang on to those things we adored ten years ago, but friends, they’re out of style and there’s a big red spaghetti sauce spot on the front.

My word: HOPE!

Yep, that’s it. I’m going to walk on with HOPE in my heart for so many things, like the little girl in our family who has issues that are difficult to deal with but we keep HOPING for the right doctor, the right meds, the right thing that will help her. I’m keeping HOPE in my heart for the little guy who lives up a couple of streets from us, 8 years old with Chron’s disease, which sends him to the hospital and gives him seizures. We pray for healing for these little people, with great HOPE in our hearts. We have HOPE in our heart for marriages that aren’t going as well as they could be. For friends whose parents are declining. For our church. For our President, that he will seek wisdom. For ourselves that we can doing all the things we love. So much has been written about HOPE:

“HOPE is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the entire world is shouting “no!”

“H.O.P.E. – Hold On, Pain Ends”

“The only difference between those who threw in the towel and quit and those who used their energy to rebuild and kept it going is found in the word...HOPE.”

“Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible.” Christopher Reeves

“Where there is HOPE, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles happen.”

This picture is a pencil drawing by my Dad, Kim Weed, and to me, it is the personification of HOPE. Look at it closely, friends, the rusty shovel planted in the earth, the wooden handle sprouting new growth and a beautiful bird resting on the new, totally impossible branch.

So that’s my word for the year, HOPE. I’m hoping you’ll pick one that will work for you. My friend, Darrell Smith, who is now dancing with the angels after spending over a year bedridden with cancer, had a favorite song, which was sung at his memorial service, Tommy Walker’s “I Have a Hope.”

“I have a hope, I have a future
I have a destiny that is yet awaiting me
My life’s not over, a new beginning’s just begun
I have a hope, I have this hope.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE.” Jer. 29:11