Luxurious HopeWhen I was in high school, my friend Shelby lived in a house with a hot tub. It was outside on the back deck, and one wintry evening, she invited a bunch of friends to use it. I remember how fun it was to race the few freezing steps from the back door in our swim suits to the steamy hot water and jump in. Foggy clouds of condensation encircled us, and we laughed and talked and had so much fun.
Until we had to get out and run those few freezing steps back into the house, soaking wet.
I don't have a hot tub in my home, but I have created the cheap-o-hack version. On a cold wintry day, when the temperature is hovering around zero, I take the hottest shower I can stand...with the bathroom window wide open.
The added bonus is that I get a great view of our backyard. Our bathroom window is up high, but since I'm tall I can manage to peer out and see what's going on.
This morning, as the outside thermometer showed a giant goose egg--zero degrees--not too much was going on in the back yard.
The trees are brown and bare. The ground is covered with last fall's dead leaves. There are no children laughing or playing or climbing or swinging or sliding.
But I didn't see the barrenness. I saw this:
I was day dreaming about our Annual Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.
I remembered all the children listening so intently as they heard the story about the empty tomb.
The kids, perched in the clubhouse, discovering the treats inside their plastic eggs.
Hope, pushing through the dead leaves and stray sticks, declaring the goodness of springtime. Of God.
For the past two and a half years, I've dreamed about our three Ethiopian children joining us for this wonderful celebration of Christ's resurrection. Of spring. Of all-things-new. Of neighborhood and community and friendship.
And this year...finally...
Lord willing and the Ethiopian-creek-don't-rise, they will be here!
And that gives me hope. HOPE. And joy. And a heart filled with song and toes-a-tapping.
I can't stop smiling.
More than four million orphans in Ethiopia. But this spring, that number will be four million (MINUS THREE).
Hope. The best gift ever.
Today is Christmas in Ethiopia, and my wish for you is that you'll have hope as well. Don't stop believing. It may seem like you've been praying for that thing forever, but hold on.
Hold on to hope.
Melkam Genna. (Merry Christmas!)