Have you ever had a feeling that you could not describe?
Something moves you to indescribable heights. You have experienced it before. It is like an old friend that you talked long in to the night with way back when. Y’all moved on. Distance clouded you. You never forgot about them. Maybe you looked them up from time to time but convinced yourself to not bother too much time has passed. One day y’all connect and it is like no time has passed at all. You make promises to stay in touch. You do well for a few months. Life gets busy. Things pile up. You are stressed. Y’all lose touch again.
Hope is like that for me.
Deep down inside I am an eternal optimist. I do in fact believe that in the end of my life I will be able to look upon it and witness much more good than bad. The hope I hold on too is easily shaken. Like my old friend when the going is good I am all in. When the tough gets going it becomes a little harder for me to stay in touch.
This semester has been very tough. I wrestle with my place in the church. I am frustrated and angry about my experience as a minister. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I am thankful to be able to attend social work school. I delight in the education I am obtaining. This semester my health lapsed and it has been harder for me to do what I normally do. I can’t seem to get enough rest and my stress levels are taxing.
I am nearing the end of the semester. With the prospect of a summer internship and no classes for 13 weeks I am hopeful for the future. I am worried about the now. I have failed at being present in my daily life. My spiritual life suffers. My physical exercise has banished. My health waivers. My hope has been very low lately.
I went to the stop to get dinner this evening. I passed the case with Mexican Cokes inside. I love these things! I can’t have them due to my diabetes. My wife can have them. I grab 2 and put them in my cart and remind myself to not forget them.
I walked around the store talking pictures of saints, candles, and cookie jars. I wander through the aisles pondering what is calling out dinner. I started thinking about all the work I have to do. I wrestled with the thought of me not being good enough or smart enough to do doctoral work. I started in the negative self-talk. I got real bummed.
I went to check out and had to wait about 10 minutes in line. When I got there I unloaded my groceries and paid for them. As I put my bags in the cart to leave I noticed the Cokes in the cart still. I grabbed them and informed the clerk that I intended to pay for them and forgot to.
The man behind me, whose groceries are now being processed, says, “May I buy them for you?”
I was floored. My first thought was to deny his request. He’s a stranger. It’s only a couple of dollars. But I obliged his request. He smiles and the clerk smiled. All down the line folks started to smile. I shook this mans hand and thanked him for the kind gesture.
I left that store and made dinner. I am now remembering all the good times me and my pal Hope have had over the years. I ought to call her more often.