SUCCESS in life takes on a new perspective when loss has consumed our world. Suddenly what we took for granted as ‘normal’ and just ‘so-so’ in life seems unattainable, even for a time. What was is now so distant, and glimpses of the beauty of life are so infrequent and fleeting we may question whether we ever had them at all. Our memories of good act as betrayers of what joy we had.
The following is an observation from a fellow sojourner; it — with the above picture — speaks cogently about a season or way of life that we would never in a pink fit choose for ourselves:
“Sometimes this is the only view of the sky that you have. It doesn’t mean that it’s not there, you just can’t see how big and beautiful it is from where you’re standing.”
— Jodie Fairclough
Sky is palpable as a metaphor for vision, as an assurance of hope, even as we do not yet see it. This image shows us how blue the sky is, but there’s much of what the buildings conceal — the beauty of an open blue sky — that we cannot see. We know it’s there, we’re just not blessed by the experience of it; at least just now.
Such a hope is tantalising, it’s frustrating, and it’s wonderful — all at the same time. Tantalising because we know what’s there, frustrating because we cannot yet have it, and wonderful because we know it’s coming.
That is an accurate portrayal of hope: the vision of assurance of things not yet seen. We have it but we don’t. We believe in our hope by faith, and it’s in faith that we are tantalised, frustrated, and imbued with wonder — again, all at the same time.
Hope’s task is to believe in the inherent goodness of the panorama of the sky, and to know it exists in all its sky blueness. Hope endures the frustration because it juxtaposes the existence of wonder for what is coming. And hope says, “It is coming! And it does not tarry. Wait with me while it comes, and enjoy even the prospect of excitement; that it’s coming.”
See how good hope is?
It gives us the capacity to live the abundant life as we believe things will turn out, and, I can tell you, it’s amazing how often that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The vision for hope may end up slightly different (or even massively different) in actuality, but hope gives us strength whilst we wait. And there’s the trust in hope. Hope is something that deserves our trust, because, quite frankly, if anyone else was living our lives we’d not allow them to live our life without the trust of hope. We know we deserve the best, as everyone does.
Believe in the sky. It’s there. And whether it’s skyscrapers or clouds that conceal this blue wonder that takes us into space, or not, it’s still there, and so is hope.
There is always hope.
And getting back to the reflection quoted above, grief outbound of loss positions us in a groaning standpoint. There’s always the potential, though, to move from where we’re standing. There’s always the opportunity to see that our viewpoint doesn’t change reality.
The sky is blue.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.