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Hope Under the Milky Way Tonight

Earlier today I loaded new songs onto my Ipod. As I washed the dishes tonight, a song came on that I haven't listened to in a long time.

Under the Milky Way
Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty,
Sounds of their breath fades with the light.
I think about the loveless fascination,
Under the milky way tonight...
Wish I knew what you were looking for.
Might have known what you would find.

Sorrow filled my heart. This song reminds me of my friend Jamie. Lively. With a sensitive soul. A dreamer. He had an innocence about him, and an optimism that was infectious.

Yet I knew he had suffered a tremendous amount of neglect growing up. He probably shared more with me than most, but an impenetrable wall remained. The little he shared was horrid. Home had been a cold, cold place...still, he radiated a beautiful hope.

We were close friends. A safe place for one another in the midst of heartbreaks, job challenges and the whirlwind of life.

One night Jamie stayed with me as I feverishly worked on a college paper that was due the next day, offering lots of coffee and moral support. Somehow we ended up on a small bridge in the early hours of the morning, sitting on the ground while I used the hard surface of a bench as a table to finish. The streetlight gave off just enough illumination. He was quiet, hopping up on occasion to peer over the railing. I finished my paper there, with a deep sense of satisfaction. It was an amazing way to articulate my thoughts onto paper - in an idyllic setting, with the world asleep and the presence of a true friend.

Other relationships, a big misunderstanding...we drifted apart. I ran into Jamie a year or so later in an art store, where he was working. He commented that something about me had changed. That I had peace, which was true. I had given my heart to Jesus and shared with him about the changes in my life.

A few years later, I heard that Jamie had gone to another country to meet the family of his fiancee. That they didn't approve and insisted she end the relationship immediately. That he was stranded there with no money and no help. Devastated and without hope, he climbed up the railings of a bridge and jumped.

I sometimes pass by that bench when I'm in my hometown. And I miss my friend Jamie.

In this life, there are so many times that the road becomes obscured by fog. We feel desperately alone. Stranded. Lost. I've been to that place where there seems to be no hope. One decision, and it could have been the end. Devastated. I've been there. But for the grace of God...

The dictionary definition of hope: a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life, the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Those same circumstances and feelings can change in a moment, and then what?

Lasting hope, the kind that endures, can only be found in the God of Hope. The One who never changes. The Source of our "favorable and confident expectation."

Psalm 43:5
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 52:9

I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Psalm 62:5
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Psalm 71:5
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

Psalm 119:114
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

He who promised is faithful. Selah.

*I also came across this great article, "What Does The Bible Say About Hope?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. Your words are beautiful.