I will never forget something a dear friend said to me years ago. I was struggling in my Christian walk. I had hit what I presumed to be rock bottom. I told him that I had lost all hope for happiness.
“Then I will hope for you,” he said, matter-of-factly.
What? Is it possible to carry someone else’s hope? What a beautiful, selfless sentiment.
I eventually pulled through my situation. Peace came. And I wonder how much of it was because of my friend’s odd but wonderful offer.
Over the years, this concept of holding on to hope for someone else has stuck with me. To be honest, it still sounds impossible. But I hope not. Because I recently heard a heartbreaking story from Bangladesh. A story about lost hope.
There was a young family living in extreme poverty in a small village in Bangladesh. They were surviving — not much more.
Hope was the most priceless commodity to be found in their tiny thatch-and-mud hut. Hope for a future. Hope for a better life. Hope for education for their two daughters. Hope for jobs that would put food on the table.
Last summer, a terrible storm raged through the village. A cyclone. Massive. Powerful enough to blow hope right out of their lives.
The storm killed the father, leaving the mother to raise the two little girls on her own. She spent the last year struggling to rebuild her home of scraps and mud bricks. She struggled to feed her children. She struggled with loneliness and depression.
And then, it got worse.
Earlier this month — one year later —. And it proved just as merciless.
The makeshift home was destroyed yet again, leaving this woman and her children homeless. What little hope survived the first storm was washed away with the debris.
In her depression, the mother took her own life. Now, her children are orphans in a dirty, ravaged, poverty-stricken village. How terrified they must be. What must they think about every dark cloud that rolls in?
I wonder if those little girls have any hope left in them?
I wonder if I can carry their hope for them. I wonder if we can.
I think it’s a beautiful sentiment that just might be beyond our full comprehension. But holding hope for someone else is — well, pure. And I am hoping that God will take those two precious girls from this horrible tragedy and bring them peace. Happiness.
I will hold on to hope for them when their hope is gone. I will cling to hope that the God who brings hope will protect them. I will hope that these girls may have a future. And I pray that you will do the same.