Hope Trumps Death

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I held her hand in mine as we walked down the snowy sidewalk. On Sunday we were raking and putting out a spring wreath on the front door, the one with the pastel eggs and moss covered rabbit, but just a few days later the streets were ice and snow as a cold wind blows right through my down coat. My heart is longing for spring. And as we walked I could smell it – fresh earth. It smelled of gardens and flowers and all things new and for a minute I was filled with such hope.
And then I turned my head. It wasn’t hope…..it was death.
We were walking past a cemetery and what I smelled was a small bulldozer digging up a plot. Next to it was the cement coffin holding a casket inside, ready to be lowered into its new earthen home. On one side of the chain link fence were two men, one working the bulldozer and the other clearing away the fresh dirt with a spade; on the other side just me and my little girl. I stopped and stared for a moment. My mind was still adjusting to the visual before me, but more than anything I tried to come to grips with how easily hope and death can be confused.

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Like many, I’m still reeling from the Super Tuesday results. Not that I am surprised, it isn’t that. I’m still processing how a group of people who profess Jesus Christ can see someone in two completely different ways. What is hope to some is certain death to others.

I don’t know what will happen in the next 8 months. I don’t know what will happen in the next four years. But what is turning death to hope for me is the chorus of voices I hear bringing light into the darkness. It is the prophets who call us to true Christ-like behavior and demand we see the world through a Kingdom lens. It is the people who are willing to be unliked and unfollowed for standing up against the rhetoric of hate. It is those who say that human dignity, respect, and love trump economic gain.

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As we walk past the cemetery to our car, she asks the way only a four year old can, about what she just saw. We talk about death and heaven, but that doesn’t seem to be her concern. “Mom, will the grass grow back and cover up the dirt? I hope it will be better than before. I hope it ends up beautiful.”

Me too.

Brenna D'Ambrosio

Brenna D'Ambrosio

I believe in finding and celebrating the breath of God in the every day, and that sometimes a gentle, simple group of words is the best way to reflect the complex and bold beauty of the world. I believe in the fierce. I believe in a generation of girls and women finding their voice. A generation who are the heroes of their own story, who fight their own battles, and slay their own dragons.
Brenna D'Ambrosio

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  • Michelle Jenne

    Beautifully written Brenna…as always! These are scary times that show the end is near. It is easy to lose heart and hope when everything we see looks so grim. Lately I have felt God reminding me to find my hope in him. Something I need to do. A reminder that I need to reshift my focuses and better my walk and take time to read, pray and listen. Something I lost a while ago. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

    • Thanks, Michelle. I hope your time away from FB gives you the peace and perspective you are craving.

      • Michelle Jenne

        God was definitely trying to tell me to step away from the noise. I found out my Male Basset has a tumor that is cancerous tonight. So focusing on myself and praying he will be able to recover after the lump is removed.

  • What a great question from your daughter. And thank you for making the link. Here, on the other side of the Atlantic it’s so hard to understand what’s going on in your country, but we are holding you in our prayers; praying for light in the darkness and beautiful new growth. much love to you.

    • Thank you. Right back atcha!

  • I loved the end of this piece — what a wonderful perspective, brought to us by a 4yo. Thanks so much! I hope every broken thing will become more beautiful someday.

    • Now my 8 year old on the other hand….she’s ready to move 🙂

  • Jody Ohlsen Collins

    “I hope it ends up beautiful.” If there’s anything this current election season has taught us it is, Number 1–we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, not on the political world and Number 2–we really need to act saved and show the world what it looks like to live as a believer in this world. Daffodils bloom, cherry trees bud, the robins return and Spring comes–there’s no power on Earth that can stop it. I want to keep my eyes on that Kingdom and live as a subject of the King while I’m here. Maybe that’s one way of telling people in God’s economy, everything ends up beautifully.

    • Beautifully stated, Jody.

  • So lovely, Brenna. It’s so tempting for all of us to give into fear right now–but fear is driving our political woes, isn’t it?” We do not have to fear, no matter what happens in this country of ours.

  • Rea

    Lovely. I’m choosing to let the current fear and rhetoric drive me deeper into shining the Christ-light into the dark places. It feels like such a small thing to do, but nature show us that sometimes death is required to bring new life. The rotten and the dead eventually decay, and life springs forth more abundantly. This is my hope, that we will sow seeds of love freely and death will be swallowed up by life.

  • Love this Brenna. Yes, hope does not disappoint when it is not based on the shifting political spectrum. It’s so easy to get swept away in all of it. Beautiful story Brenna.

  • Brenna, I love this! I love the way you write and pull me in to feel like I’m there walking with you and your daughter! Blessings to you!