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A Stone Harvesting Moment



Hope I pass. The course was difficult

Hope to see you.  We’re miles apart.

Hope you get that raise.  Who can’t use a few extra dollars these days? 

Hope my team wins. I hate to see my favorite player lose.

Hope I get a new car.  My old one’s been stalling lately.

Hope I don’t get a ticket. I parked illegally.

Hope he can save my tooth. It’s been hurting me for a while.

Hope we can figure things out. We’ve been in the storm lately. 

Hope he believes me. Our relationship won’t endure if he doesn’t. 

Hope I get that new job. More money is always good.

Hope the operation is a success. A life depends on it.


As a noun, it’s a feeling of expectation and desire. As a verb, it means to want something to happen. So many times a day, so many different circumstances, but we’ve all had to rely on that four-letter word to get us to the other side of desire, discomfort, deficit, instability, disorientation or dis-ease. Sometimes the stakes are low; if my hope is not realized, I don’t really suffer too much. What difference does it really make if I’ve sat for two hours and watched my team lose? Other times, they are high; I don’t know how I could go on without that person in my life.


For some and in some circumstances, a phone call, credit card, or procedure can transform hope into joy. The faster the access, the shorter the duration of hope and the distance between it and fulfillment. The opposite is also true; the harder and longer the access requires, the need and the duration for hope increases—stretching us uncomfortably. And there is so much over which we have little control.


Being able to see with more clarity can carry us: I’m better off without that new car, that relationship, that job. Sad to say, sometimes we run out of hope before clarity sets in.   We wait in despair trying to make happen what won’t. But we don’t have to work so hard. We can wait just expectantly for something greater than human hands to intervene when the time is right.


This is the time for gathering stones,  a “Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn”* kind of moment. Some of us may not have to go back too far, maybe just a generation, decades, or centuries to find that ancestral rock who passed onto their children these stones of faith which were passed down to us and have become a host for our hope.


Others of us may have to go back farther, to the beginning, where we find the rock from which all humanity has been cut. Finding origin, we find destiny and are emboldened even though caught between desire and fulfillment. Wisened, we endure the wounds of waiting or experience no discomfort at all.




*Isaiah 55:1 (NIV)

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