hope holds

Hope is a hazy word. I see it, and then I don’t.

I reach for it, and the vapor trails away.

For years, the more I tried to get a grip on it, the more it seemed like the tail of a balloon dipping and weaving ahead of me. Even if I could catch it, at best it could pull me a few inches—maybe a few feet—off the ground. It could give me a hint of perspective. It could give my legs a few seconds of reprieve.

But hope was never enough to carry me. It couldn’t sustain my weight. The string slipped out of my hand, I thudded back to reality, and the balloon bobbed ahead of me again. I had to hustle to keep it in sight, let alone get a hand on it.

Hope always seemed to be “out there” or “up there,” but what if hope is “down there”?

What if hope is the anchor or—even better—the solid seabed into which the anchor sinks?

Maybe hope is less about getting above despair and more about being rooted in the Immovable as life’s storms rage.

Perhaps hope is less escape and more endurance.

When the anchor is sure, though the waves crash and threaten to swamp me, I am not lost. The squalls leave me battered and bruised, wet and chilled, weak in the knee and sick to my stomach; yet, I am secure.

The clouds clear, and I have not drifted. Hope remains. I remain.

Hope isn’t what I hold onto but what—or Who—holds onto me.


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