Lessons on Hope

Prim b&w

I have a lot to learn from my dog, Prim. I came to this realization not too long ago as came down the stairs to say goodbye to two children as they headed off to their Dad’s house. Prim was right in the mix of things, standing beside them, tail wagging, leaning in for last-minute hugs, and ready to sneak in the car as she realized they were leaving her. As the kids walked out the door Prim ran to her perch at the window – crying softly as she realized they were, in fact, leaving without her. After watching them slowly back out of the driveway, Prim took up her post by the front door – with a soft sigh, she lay down, stretched out – no doubt hoping for their quick return.

Prim has a lot of hope. Every night she sits quietly with her head in my lap under the dinner table throughout the meal, hoping I’ll sneak her scraps of the good stuff. Each time she returns from a trip outside she goes straight to the cabinet that holds her treats and sits patiently, hoping I’ll reward her. She often grabs her favorite toy and drops it at my feet, hoping I’ll play. She even lays down beside me and gently puts her paw on my hand in the hope I will rub her ears. My dog is full of hope and she has an enviable ability to hope patiently

This is what I need to learn from Prim – patient hope – the sit quietly and enjoy the wait kind of hope. Prim is a master at patient expectation, sitting and waiting for inevitable goodness she believes will come. It’s hard for me. I’m more of a “do” kind of gal. I like to always be in control, checking things off my list, and making things happen. I’m a type-A personality, for sure. So, when things seem to take too long or don’t come as I planned, I am prone to lose hope. I often become impatient, frustrated, and full of despair.

Over the past year, I’ve lost hope. Social distancing, an increasing death toll, and a divided nation all fuse to make hope a scarce resource – at least for me. As I journey through this season of Lent, this time of being in the wilderness, I’ve decided to take a lesson from my dog Prim and put down despair and, at least try, to pick up hope. I’m striving to learn from her how to sit patiently and hopefully in the liminal space of waiting.

Not so for my dog, Prim. Every day she hopes. And I learn lessons on hope.

  • Do you hope? 
  • What or who gives you hope? 
  • What are some ways we can provide hope for others?

Holy God, you know I am prone to despair and impatience often becoming frustrated when things do not happen as quickly as I would like. Help me to hope for what I can’t yet see and learn patient hope. Amen.  

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