Hope: An Anchor for the Soul
One of my earliest journal entries as a teenager declares, “I don’t want to be a healer; I want to be a giver of hope.” Thirty years later, I am now a family physician. Although I love to help the sick and those in need, I recognize that I am not a healer. God is the healer who bestows upon us the knowledge, skills and compassion to extend healing to others. I am, however, a giver of hope, and those of us in medicine who aren’t have missed the point of our calling.
One of my favorite definitions of faith comes from Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is confidence and assurance, not wishful thinking, and hope is a fruit of faith. In uncertainty, hope yells, “Believe!” and whispers, “You’re not alone.” It reminds us of possibilities we’ve not considered and equips the soul with pluck.
We can learn about hope and faith by observing trees. J.W. Von Goethe said it this way, “Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.” I would add, “And then we see it.”
I have discovered that the most powerful gift I possess is my faith – a storehouse of tangible hope. Over the years I have met countless people who have lost hope and, in the process, have lost their connection to their deepest desires, to God and to others. What joy it brings to rekindle their faith and hope by sharing mine! Then I notice small buds begin to form on the branches of their hearts as joy returns, followed by the full blooms of Springtime. It’s as if they’ve come back to life.
Hope restores purpose and vision to the soul. It is an anchor to the life within fueled by the Giver of life. When we share hope, we extend ourselves for the sake of others, helping them find greater purpose and meaning in the midst of their struggles. So plant seeds of hope in someone’s heart today, and watch for the harvest of healing, of joy, of life!
Dr Mari, © 2011