#356: Offering Hope
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
When it comes to helping others, we may think we have nothing to offer but we would be wrong in thinking that. Sure, we can offer a kind word when appropriate or run errands or do chores for someone unable to do them for themselves.
But what about the bigger picture of life?
Scores of people today are lonely and discouraged and have a simple wish for someone to talk to, someone to encourage them, to lift their spirits and help them realize that life and people are generally good. They desperately want someone to tell them that the problems we all encounter day to day will pale in significance to the grander life that awaits us after we pass on.
There was a program run by Tide, the laundry detergent company, that offered a donation for every yellow-topped container of Tide purchased. The money went to mobile semis that toured ravaged areas and washed people's clothes for them. One woman who benefited from this generosity was quoted as saying, "You don't know how good it feels to have clean clothes."
But think how much better it will feel if we give eternal hope to those in despair. How can anyone look at the miracles of life that surround us every moment of our lives and believe that life occurred by accident? How can it be a coincidence that every being's organs, for example, are always in the same place in their body? Sure there are rare exceptions of unusually split genes, but we do not have some people or animals running around with their hearts where others' livers are or with their eyes where some have their tails.
Even in the beauty of nature we see brilliantly colored flowers that are all the same -- roses are roses, gladiolas are gladiolas and don't have rose petals and so on through the world of nature.
We look to the heavens and see stars and planets in their relative places every night. The Big Dipper does not suddenly switch places with Orion one evening.
With such miracles surrounding us every minute of our lives, is it too hard a stretch to believe there is a grand plan behind our lives? We may not know what it is right now, but knowing something greater awaits us will help us better handle the tribulations of our lives.
It is this message of hope that so many people wait to hear. They want to know their lives on earth were not lived in vain and that there is an alternative to living with worries and despair.
We can not see the glory of a rainbow if we do not lift our eyes to the skies. And, we can not feel the glory built inside each of us if we do not help others when we have the chance to do so.
Maybe that help is offering directions to a physical location. More often, though, that help is likely to be to offer directions to a more hopeful life.