Hope made me do it!
“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.”
I dreamed I was Katie Couric and scored the interview of all interviews with Mary following her momentous encounter with the Angel Gabriel. After an exchange of pleasantries, I got right down to it: “Mary, what were you thinking? Did you have any idea what you were signing up for? Why in the world did you say Yes?” Poised and peaceful, Mary’s reply: “Hope made me do it.”
Deep within us all, under the many layers of our humanity, there is a flicker of hope. Think of it in terms of your own interior pilot light divinely engineered to never go out. God installed the safety valve so that no matter life’s circumstances there would always be a part of you that would never give up on love, healing, miracles, heaven, and especially God. It is the eternal blue flame within that gives you the courage to do really brave and benevolent things in this world.
God will never bully us to do something worthy and beautiful with our lives. The choice is always ours. But God will also never stop giving us opportunities to say, “Yes.” Christmas happened and continues to happen when we agree to birth any amount of goodness into this world. Mary could have said no. Joseph could have said no. John the Baptist could have said no. The innkeeper could have said no. The Magi could have said no. You can say no but expect to live a life much smaller, dimmer and less memorable than the one God is offering you. The reality is we say no to God much more than we say yes. Selfishness, cowardice and fear of the unknown shut us down. But when we do have the courage to act from the “pilot light of hope” within us, and repeat the words of Mary, “Here I am God; let it be with me according to Your plan,” we might actually change a life, a story—the course of history.
The hope is in you and me. We were made to say “Yes.” This Christmas when the Angel Gabriel forces his wing through your door, and you feel the pilot light of hope click on, say “Yes!” Make a move for love. Call the friend whose struggling and give her a nudge of hope, make a love drop of soup to someone facing loss, extend a word of encouragement to the stranger crossing your path with his or her head bowed low, buy the coat and the meal for the homeless man, woman or child, show some mercy to a difficult family member, include, love better, harder and more often. And if anyone comes knocking on your door and asks you “Why?” Just say, “Hope made me do it.”
Buy two, one for you and one for another. Let this be your Advent/Christmas Devotional : Kneeling In Bethlehem by Ann Weems
“It is not over, this birthing.
There are always newer skies into which God can throw stars.”