I am sitting here with tears in my eyes.
They are spilling over and running down my face and dripping off my chin.
Most days I am full of joy. Truly. Most days I’m twirling my toes and clapping my hands and dancing in the aisles and giggling and laughing my way through life.
Today my heart is heavy.
I ache for people fighting for their homeland. I ache for the families of the friends I lost this week. I ache for the struggling and the sadness and anxiety and uncertainty that so many people are facing.
At the risk of stating the obvious.
Life can be so overwhelming.
I remembered a story I wrote years ago on this blog. I haven’t looked at it in years, but I went and searched and found it and it spoke to my heart and filled me with such peace as I read it. I had no idea when I wrote it all those years ago that I would need it today.
Just in case you needed a little hope?
Come sit by me.
This is for you.
This week we spent the evening listening to a choir performance by one of the twins.
It was a Quad-State choral festival about an hour away from us that started at 6:30 at night.
And just between us, to get there by the time it started required an effort of almost herculean proportions.
I had to corral everyone from their various after-school activities and make sure they were dressed in something other than an Under Armor sweatshirt and jeans and produce food for the journey and wait for my husband to get off of work and listen to 101 excuses as to why a sister or brother really shouldn’t have to sit through a choir concert their sister was singing at.
And by the time 6:30 rolled around I was not in a choir-listening mood.
Instead, I was exhausted.
I shepherded everyone into the auditorium and slowly sank down into my seat with resignation.
My daughter spotted us from the stage and waved wildly at us.
We waved wildly back.
Some of us a little more wildly than others.
Then the concert began and the notes from stage floated softly across the room.
The concert continued with several songs and then the musicians paused.
A hush fell over the crowd as they explained the meaning behind the next song. The song was entitled “Inscription of Hope” by Z. Randall Stroope and it was based on words found scrawled on a cellar wall by Jews hiding from the Nazis in Cologne, Germany during the Second World War.
The notes began, then children’s voices filled the air and I sat in stunned silence as the words with their powerful message rang out across the concert hall.
“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there’s no one there
And I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial there is always a way.
But sometimes in this suffering and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter
and to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me saying “hold on my child”
I’ll give you strength
I’ll give you hope
Just stay a little while
May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace.”
~by Z. Randall Stroope
Tears welled up in my eyes.
To have the faith to persevere in the face of overwhelming darkness.
To believe when it seemed there was nothing to believe in.
To have such hope when the future seemed hopeless and full of despair.
It is a lesson for us all.
I watched my daughter singing so earnestly up on the stage and my heart grew wings.
And with the words of the song ringing in my ears, I looked over at my family and reached for my husband’s hand and sent a silent prayer of thanks for the joy that sat beside me in that dark auditorium.
And for the reminder found in every line, every lyric….
….of the song that hope wrote.