On Expectation and Hope

24 Mar

“All the best transformations are accompanied by pain. That’s the point of them.”

–Fay Weldon

As Easter draws to a close, I’m thinking about the message of one of my new favorite children’s books, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. It is the story of a toy rabbit named Edward who goes on a journey and in the process learns about the joy of loving and of being loved as well as the exquisite pain that accompanies loss.

edward-tulane.jpg

In one of the closing scenes of the book, Edward is in a doll shop waiting to be purchased. He is filled with despair and apathy because he doesn’t believe anyone will come for him. He doesn’t want to open himself up again to experience the vulnerability of caring deeply for someone else. He says, “I’m done with being loved…I’m done with loving. It’s too painful.” 

An older and wiser doll tells him, “There’s no point in going on if you feel that way…You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next…If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.”

Truly, loving and being loved and experiencing the expectation of hope is what gives my life meaning and purpose. And today is a day to celebrate the fact that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and that He “sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

I am fortunate to have many people whom I love and who love me. Like Edward, I have experienced both the joy and pain of opening up my heart to love. A little over a year ago, our family had a very painful parting with another family we dearly cared about. The ache in our hearts gaped like an open wound and persisted for the longest time. Then just the other day, I realized that the pain of that ache was no longer with me. I was healed.

When Moses and the children of Israel were out wandering in the wilderness, they came to a place called Marah where they could not drink the water because of its bitterness. The Lord showed Moses how to make the waters sweet and said,”I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:27). In our current state of imperfectness, loving others will always have elements of bitterness and sweetness.  However, I’ve learned that it’s always worth it to take the path of love and to trust that God will heal me from any bitter experiences and grant me the sweetness of His peace in His own time and in His own way.

How grateful I am for a Savior who makes this expectancy, hope,and transformation possible.

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One Response to “On Expectation and Hope”

  1. Mom June 2, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    Absolutely beautiful!!!!

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