Bring on the Hope

The day started as every other day, I got up, got my coffee and turned on the news. There it was as it has been for the last year but getting more frequent, more disturbing, more of the same thing;  the candidates  stumping for votes.

I turned on another news channel and listened to a newscaster talking about several murders, robberies, beatings, and abuse. I switched channels and saw the faces and heard the sobs of  folks who lived in the southern states dealing with the floods that took their homes, took everything they owned, even taking many lives.

As I continued to search the channels, I saw abused and unwanted dogs and cats. My fingers kept pressing the up and down button until something caught my eye. I stopped and listened to cancer patients telling their story. As tears filled my eyes, I thought about the men, women and children  suffering from illnesses of all sorts,  those that faced debilitating disabilities every single day, seniors that struggle on a daily basis,  children  starving for love and affection, and those that suffer daily from lack of nutritional food and material things that we take for granted. It never seems to end. In fact, I believe in many cases, it is getting worse.

My fingers kept pressing the up and down button until something caught my eye. I stopped and listened to cancer patients telling their story. As tears filled my eyes, I thought about the men, women and children  suffering from illnesses of all sorts,  those that faced debilitating disabilities every single day, seniors that struggle on a daily basis,  children  starving for love and affection, and those that suffer daily from lack of nutritional food and material things that we take for granted. It never seems to end. In fact, I believe in many cases, it is getting worse.

Dear readers, my question is, at what point do those going through really difficult times, or for that matter, those who are exposed to the day in and day out of sadness, start to lose hope?  I find myself thinking about that question a lot.

This is a story about not giving up, encouraging those we meet,  reaching out to others, believing that there are many, many good people with loving intentions,  and finding hope one day at a time in the most unusual places.

Bring on the Hope……..

Saturday, October 15th. It was a beautiful fall day with a full sun and pillow shaped, white clouds etched into the blue sky. I grabbed my folding chair and headed down to find just the right spot to take in all of the beautiful sights soon to be appearing before my eyes.  As I set my chair up,  conversations around me meandered up to my ears as I heard folks talking about the election, their fears, and the bad things happening in a nearby town. My heart started to sink a little.  Before I sat down, I walked down to grab a little take out lunch. Walking through the growing crowds, the bits and pieces of conversations were really starting to get me down.Someone was losing their job, someone just lost a loved one.  I found myself looking at the people who were sharing and I could see the raw pain in their eyes.  As I continued my walk back to my blue chair I said a little prayer, asking God to fill the hearts of the street lined people with hope. Even if it was for just a short time. I thanked Him for listening and knew, for now, it was out of my control.

As I continued my walk back to my blue chair I said a little prayer, asking God to fill the hearts of the street lined people with hope. Even if it was for just a short time. I thanked Him for listening and knew, for now, it was out of my control.

Soon, I found my seat and took a bite out of my sandwich. It was quite tasty and I made a mental note to visit that cute little restaurant real soon. Behind me, I heard a small child giggling, and my heart felt like it had the goosebumps. Children do that to me. I love them.  No matter how bad things get, children have a way of filling every minute space with sunshine. As I turned around to check out the little one, I heard it! The police cars, driven by our finest, coming up the street in slow motion, one behind the one, turning on the sirens and throwing candy out at the children sitting on the curb waiting patiently.

This was the beginning of something special, something we waited for each October, something that some needed to ease the pain they felt, something that replaced the fear of the unknown for just a while, and something that just might help some people smile or even laugh.

As I turned around to check out the little one, I heard it! The police cars, driven by our finest, coming up the street in slow motion, one behind the other, lights flashing, blaring sirens and throwing candy out their windows at the children sitting on the curb waiting patiently. This was the beginning of something special, something we waited for each October, something that some needed to ease the pain they felt, something that replaced the fear of the unknown for just a little while, and something that just might help some  people smile or even laugh.

Soon, a band of middle school students marched and played a beautiful song. I heard some mothers, fathers, and grandparents shouting their son’s or daughter’s  name and I saw smiles on all those listening. I must admit that the bands are my favorite. I love music. When I looked at the children walking their straight lines, giving it all, and the lovely notes that came out of each instrument, hope tickled my heart. Children of all ages see the best and dream about the future. A future that has infinite possibilities. We need to keep looking at our children and let hope start to nestle in our hearts. Sometimes we need to believe like a child.

Then it happened, the floats with children dressed up in all types of costumes, adults walking their dressed up dogs , which by the way were adorable, more school bands, fire trucks blowing their horns throwing more candy,  cute floats, cub scouts, boy scouts, brownies, and girl scouts proudly marching, karate boys and girls demonstrating their techniques,  and a full truck  of Clipper football players of all ages.

Soon I heard a familiar song. I knew the song. It was one of my favorites. The music was getting louder. I looked around and saw mouths moving and some people standing. The music was right on top of me. Tears streamed down my face, as I looked around and saw others wiping their eyes. More people stood up. It was a drum and bugle corp making the beautiful music.  Perhaps it was an answer to my prayer.  They did not miss a beat. They were spot on. The music was so loud that I could feel the beats in my heart. God Bless America never sounded better. As they marched on, I looked around and saw the street lined with people clapping their hands.  Sparks of hope were floating into many people’s hearts that day.

I loved the Tin Lizzies! The Shriners are beacons of hope for children who are in need of medical help. I could feel the sprinkling of hope throughout the crowd, as they drove their little cars in a figure eight design. I believe those watching were thinking of all the children who received help from these heroes.

Soon the excitement was over and it was time to head home. As I walked up to the circle, I saw some teenagers helping two elderly people cross the street.  My heart skipped a beat. I was proud of those two teens for taking their time to be kind.  Hope is closer than we think.

The definition of hope: to cherish a desire of good, accompanied with an expectation of obtaining it.

My Heartfelt Thoughts………..

With the upcoming elections and the uncertainty of what will come, health issues plaguing many, losing a loved one or a job, the growing number of homeless people and those suffering from mental illness, suicide, drug abuse and the rise of crimes can certainly rob us of hope if we allow it.

But, dear friends, I believe that hope is alive and well. We can all see it in the rising of the sun that brings a new day, praying to our creator, the birth of a baby, the love between two people, helping others, encouraging a friend, smiling at someone you pass on the street and yes, at a two-hour Halloween parade in a small, quaint town, that I call home.

God has a beautiful plan for each and every one of us. I know it in my heart. So take His gift of hope and find it in the little things of daily life, share it with your family and friends, and those strangers along the way,  and never give up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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