“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise God, my help and my God.” Psalm 42:5 and Psalm 43:5
This Lent I choose to fast from Despair and will instead hang out with Hope. This Lent I decide that my Hope cannot be taken from me by Despair. I say to Despair these things: “Despair, you can steal my home but you can’t have my Hope. Despair, you can have my health, but I’m holding onto my Hope. Despair, you can eat into my thoughts, but you can’t take over my thinking. Despair, you can haul me off to a dark place, but you can’t close the door that lets in the light of Hope.”
And when Despair does clamp its icy grip around my wrists and clamor annoyingly in my head, as I know it will, I will greet Despair cordially and then introduce it to Hope. I will invite Despair in to my lodgings and together we will sit hospitably with Hope. I will say to Despair, “Despair, you are welcome in my house but you must cohabit here with Hope and learn from her. You must agree to respect Hope, to converse with Hope, and most importantly you must concede your lesser authority to the more powerful Hope.”
And this Lent I vow that when I despair of the work of loving or the absence of love, I will make room for Hope. And further I vow that when I despair of a right relationship with God or a human relationship gone wrong, I will invite Hope to settle once again in my soul.
With Despair I may sit and with Despair I may dance, but it is with Hope that I make my forever home. This is the fast I choose this Lent.
Prayer: God of All Hope, When we are overcome by despair, lead us to that place where even a small spark of hope illuminates the path you place before us. And then lead us forward to do the work you have called us to do. This is our prayer. Amen.
Rev. Cynthia Klingemier
Regional Elder District 4 and Commission on Ministry Team 1 Leader