I was sitting with a good friend a few nights ago over a last minute dinner. We’d made jokes already about who was late (me, as always) and about what it was going to cost me (dinner, even though it never does).
At some point in the meal, after we’d been laughing and harassing and deciding all kinds of things, I realized that we had grown very quiet. But it’s the kind of realizing that it’s gotten quiet after it’s been quiet a while and yet I hadn’t realized no one was talking.
(There’s the other kind of silence, you know, when all parties are dying to speak but no one can think of a thing to say, either because they are bored senseless or the moment has grown too thick for words. This night was neither of those kinds of silences.)
I looked up at my buddy and knew in that moment that the last year for both of us––although in very different ways––had been both hellish and life-giving. We had endured all kinds of things, and moved unsurely but necessarily to the other side of what was lost, and began looking toward what will be found.
We are both still looking, of course, as everyone who is telling the truth about anything at all will admit that he is still looking for what will be found.
But in that moment when I realized no one was talking, but all was well, I realized how much I appreciate this kind of silence. It’s a kind of silence that is no longer pregnant with impending misery and loss and sadness, but has been there when misery and loss and sadness have been there. It’s a kind of silence that is no longer awkward and wishing for words, but has pushed through to where nothing needs to be said, and nothing else has to be made known. It’s a kind of silence that speaks to the fact that while there’s not much to talk about, that means there’s not much to talk about––which means that of all the things the space between me and my buddy has had to hold onto and make sense of, tonight it need only make sense of good food and good laughter and good memories of time when we have carried heavy silences together.
It’s a loudness of silence that makes me thankful for the last year. A year that looked like the end of all things, but ended up being the beginning of all things new.
New hopes for what God is doing through his church in the world.
New hopes for what God is doing through his people in their
businesses, offices, homes, churches, classrooms, streets, neighborhoods, banks, schools,
New hopes while though we feel unsure, unable, unwilling, unfeeling, unhelpful
a year later
we still feel, above all, most hopeful.
Most hopeful about the future.
Most hopeful about the stories that will be told about the past.
Most hopeful about what God is doing in the world.
Most hopeful about how God will bring his church to life to join him.
Most hopeful for the way the stories of pain and sadness will resolve.
Most hopeful about the way the stories of excitement and anticipation will continue.
Most hopeful about the coming of God’s great kingdom.
Here’s to one year of mosthopeful.com, and all that has it represents of things lost, learned, and loved.
We cannot walk alone.
Pine Tree Dr.