This can be a tough time of year for hospital work. As a chaplain, I often see the most tragic situations, and they take on an even sadder air around the holidays. Nobody wants to remember Christmas as “the day Dad died” or “the anniversary of Gramma’s stroke.” But it happens. It’s easy to get pulled under by the seemingly hopeless situations. So I wasn’t surprised when I saw a dear friend and fellow chaplain post her status update on Facebook: “Christmas Eve in a Level One Trauma Center may cause me to loose all hope.”
I knew exactly what she meant. But in her misspelled verb, I saw truth. It would be easy to lose hope in the midst of all we see. But our job is to loose hope – to unleash it, set it free. The potential hope is there in every situation, because we believe God is there. And especially at this time of year, those of us who call ourselves Christians remember the Incarnation of hope in Jesus Christ. So that’s what I told my friend (and reminded myself) when I commented:
“Your typo has truth to tell! You are letting hope loose, unleashing it all over that place by bearing witness to the love of God in the midst of what looks hopeless. This is the night we remember Jesus came into our dirty, sad, unjust, dark world in the flesh, and the people who walked in darkness saw a great light. You are the Christ candle in the darkness for all the people you meet tonight, and the darkness shall not, cannot, overcome it. I love you, my wonderful chaplain friend.”
As we prepare to begin a new year on the calendar, may we all do our part to loose hope wherever we go. It may take awhile for it to take hold, but hope will do its work. Happy New Year, everyone!