A World With Hope for Better Days
Updated: Jan 3
In one of our family’s favorite series, “Lord of the Rings,” the middle film “The Two Towers” is my least favorite. It’s so full of war and despair that I feel sad most of the movie. But even in this film, Frodo’s best friend Samwise Gamgee offers his ever-present word of hope. When Frodo almost gives in to evil and threatens to murder Sam, Sam speaks of hope in the midst of their despair. He finds his hope not in the present circumstance, but in the promise of hope yet unrealized, and the encouragement to hold on to the good of this world, even when evil is all around. When I used to gaze on Edward Hicks’ The Peaceable Kingdom in a Conference Room where meetings were seldom peaceable or even kind, I was reminded of this truth that Samwise Gamgee claims, “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” Those words would encourage me to hang in there, offer a peaceful presence, and even challenge people to take a pause and engage more compassionately and positively to find solutions for moving forward together.
Whether advocating and working for a purpose-filled company, a life-giving church, a healthy planet, a peaceful world, or a just nation, our actions to bring harmonious, healthy relationships to this earth are actions of hope. Even when our actions and prayers don’t have the impact we’d envisioned, they are enough. For every prayer for peace and every act of love is an expression of hope for better days. Perhaps we need this reminder now more than ever. Perhaps we need it every winter in the northern hemisphere as the days darken and nights grow longer. Perhaps we need it every holiday season when the frantic pace and hidden sorrows create more stress than calm. Words and actions of encouragement to bring hope are gifts to keep us going. Similarly, the light of candles and Christmas decorations in the long, dark nights of December shine forth to remind us that the light of God shines so brightly that no night of despair can ever extinguish it. This is the hope to which we are called. This is the hope that sustains us when conflicts arise. This is the hope we can bring to the world when others are most in despair. The divine resides within us, a beautiful light planted in each of our hearts and lives. How might we lead the way, preparing a path that will one day lead to the peaceable kingdom? Each time we step onto that path toward peace, we are helping to bring the loving, hope-filled realm our earth and its diverse creatures so desperately need. In that glorious hope, we can actually celebrate this season and give thanks for the opportunity to be on this journey together. In the words of The Goo Goo Dolls, we can indeed "hope for better days" - because we are choosing to be part of that hope.