Hope That Opens the Human Heart

December 9, 2012

Today’s Reflection

HOPE OPENS SOMETHING in the human heart. Like shutters slowly parting to admit a winter dawn, hope permits strands of light to make their way to us, even when we still stand in cold darkness; but hope also reveals a landscape beyond us into which we can live and move and have our being. With hope, closely held interior thoughts are gently turned outward; deep desires, perhaps long hidden in secret corners of our heart, might be lifted up to the light. At times, hope peels back the edges of our imagination to free what waits underneath — a changed life, a new resolve, a yes pregnant with possibility. In other moments hope dares us to unfold a layer of desire — for relationship, for clarity, for courage.

- Pamela C. Hawkins
Simply Wait: Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent

From pages 43-44 of Simply Wait: Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent by Pamela C. Hawkins. Copyright © 2007 by Pamela C. Hawkins. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you been an agent of hope for another? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

…as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Luke 3:4, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who struggle to forgive. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Now in 19 languages and distributed around the world, Prayers for Encouragement offers spiritual care and hope for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. Join us as we offer support to World AIDS Day.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Nicholas (December 6).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

robert moeller December 9, 2012 at 3:37 am

While I can imagine that I was hope for someone, truly only they can tell if what I imagine is right. I hope that I am helpful for Anneliese, Erich, Jenny, and Chris, for church, for friends, for those near and far away.

I keep everyone struggling with forgiveness before you Lord. Forgiving brings us all closer to you and helps your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen

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Buzz December 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Robert,
You are sooo getting it right! Hold close to the Holy Spirit. She has even more miracles instore for you.

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robert moeller December 10, 2012 at 2:56 am

Buzz, your encouragement to me and others is much appreciated and helpful. God has a plan for everyone as they open the eyes of their hearts to let God in.

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Mel December 9, 2012 at 6:00 am

There are two general times when I might be a source of hope for others. First, when they are going through a difficult time and I have had a similar experience. I can share that in looking back, God has been with me and delivered me– that God has acted in some way. Second, when I take time to listen to them and pray with them. It always surprises me a little when they relate that simply listening and praying is helpful, though it has happened often . . .

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Buzz December 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Mel,
I’m what’s known as a PRAYER WARRIOR. My experience is as yours. When I listen and pray, I’m the most useful.

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Connie December 9, 2012 at 7:40 am

I try to bring hope to the shut-ins I know by remembering them with cards to let them know I care. In the last month two of those ladies passed away. One was 100 and one was 95. They were wonderful, and I tried to make sure they knew I loved them and God loved them. (They knew this, for sure, anyway).
Isn’t this the reason we are here on Earth?

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Buzz December 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Connie,
Yes. This is the reason we are here on earth.

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Buzz December 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm

The small messages of hope I’m blessed to share with others offers me more hope than I can possibly ask for.

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Juliette December 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Yes. Sometimes listening can give hope in that someone cares enough to listen, which is an act of love in itself. One of my son’s was severely ill and and a woman from my church shared her story with her son and he had pulled through. That was one of the biggest gifts of hope I received and God blessed us with his recovery. It ha ps taught me to listen more. On another note, please pray that a family member of ours opens her heart to forgive.

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robert moeller December 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

I’m with you in your hope that a family member opens her heart to forgive.

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Buzz December 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Juliette,
Praying with and for you.

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Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Father God, help us to be an agent of hope for others.

I am an agent of hope to those students who are slow in learning. Last week, one of them knowing that he is slow requested to be seated beside me so that I can help him out.

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