Last week, I shared my Hope Giving List with you. I have been thinking about the practical, lived-out connection between hope and love. When hope is put into action, it sprouts and grows to become love-lived-out! The ideas on this list have been part of life in our home, and have led to loving attitudes and ways of living.
Here’s a couple recent examples:
I just made this little note for our dining room table the other day! Why? My Hope-Giving List includes, “Noticing daily thankfulnesses,” and we’ve had a bit of need for this. This reminder helps our family to practice choosing thankful ways of thinking. This practice also creates an opportunity to: 1) love each other, as our family engages in meaningful conversation over dinner, and 2) love God, as we remember that He is the Giver of all good gifts.
From here, love carries on to the neighbor who sees this on our table, or the thankful attitude we carry with us into our days, or taking an opportunity to put in words that God is the Source of some good thing in my life.
I’ve also thought lately about, “Satisfaction from the work of my hands.” We can choose an attitude of purpose and satisfaction in accomplishing even small tasks (let alone larger ones). Work is good for us; Adam and Eve were given the garden to tend before the fall, when all was good!
More importantly, work done well sets the stage for love. In my kitchen, the sink is set in an island, with six bar stools tucked around it (carefully chosen smallish ones, since I love to have seating for more people!). And I feel confident in my spirit that the dishes done and the counter clean sets the stage for love – love expressed by food prepared and shared to care for people (often my daughters and neighbor friends these summer days), and love which creates the opportunity to connect with each other in this place. This is lived-out-love!
I can imagine work-done-well setting the stage for love in many contexts… whether in a garden, in an office at work, while professionally engaging with clients, while providing tedious care for a sick loved one…
The ideas on the Hope-Giving List are seeds, for choices in how we respond to the things that feel hard in life. Hope-filled responses to life – choices made and struggled for and intentionally lived out – sprout and grow to become tangible love in our homes and life in community. This authentic hope and love then characterizes our lives and is naturally shared with others. This is the kind of love we want the world around us to see lived out!
What is an example of a hope-giving choice sprouting into tangible love?