Sometimes, we all have those times in life where we need to believe… to feel hope again.
My good friend, author Michael Johnson, must have sensed that in me and sent this lovely missive.
I am guessing others might need to hear/read it, too.
Please, give yourself some love this morning…
Throwing My Loop…
By: Michael Johnson
We all need that from time to time, now don’t we? Healing salve, I mean. I think I’ll make that this winter and have it ready for distribution in 2017. Packaging will be important. I think I’ll put it in a small attractive container – made of durable metal, because this stuff really lasts. The color will be a nice dark red, and it will smell like…like cherries, and the logo on the top lid will say, – in white script, of course…“Hope – The Healing Salve That Mends All Wounds.” Just think of all the things we could rub it on…a skinned knee, a broken heart, a child’s mind, someone facing a dreaded event at work, someone with an illness, a person who has been turned away and left behind, the face of a horse who has been harmed, and anyone living down at the end of Lonely Street wondering how in the world he ever ended up in that place.
“All my hope is gone,” he might say. “I’m out of hope.”
And we could say, “No, no, my good man. There’s plenty of hope available. Here’s some right here in this small tin. Now you start rubbing a little of this on you every day. Not too much at once, mind you. This is powerful stuff. It will take a little time, but once you get it in your system – when you get some hope in you – things will improve quickly.”
Now all we have to do is figure out what to put in it…
People might not expect the surprising amount of humor that’s required in the recipe for hope. Humor can kick start hope like ether starts an old engine on a cold morning. Laughter opens up our neural pathways so hope can flow freely and fill our spirit. No matter how down or low a person may be, the road to recovery – the first step to being alive again – often begins with laughter. That causes the memory to recall when life was good. That’s when we begin to wonder…“Could it be possible that it might be again?” Like this…
My old friend had to go through a divorce at fifty-eight years of age. He had been a farmer for all his life, and three generations of his family had done the same things every day and every season for over one hundred years. The change brought on by the failure of his marriage caused him to feel – as he put it – that, “All my hope was gone.” While having coffee one morning with his neighbor, a younger farmer, the old man said, “Sometimes I think about getting in one of my vehicles on my farm, and after I get it up to about ninety miles an hour, I think about hitting one of these concrete abutments on the road between my farm and yours.” Then still staring down at his coffee, he added, “What do you think about that?”
The young farmer said, “I don’t think you have anything on your farm that would go ninety.” My friend said he laughed that day, and that was the day he began to heal.
So three parts humor to all other ingredients.
The second ingredient we have to add is stories of triumph. Each tin will contain a true tale of someone’s experience involving a time when they were down and out all the way to the 10 count, lying on the canvas, fetal position, bucked off high in the air and the fall was bad, unable to draw a breath, and then…sometimes because of something a friend said, or because they heard an old song, or because the Divine reached down and touched them – many reasons – but all caused the same thing. They began to get up – to rise – and they came back. Scathed, bitten, clawed, harmed…but alive. And when we hear their story, the thought comes into us… “If they did, maybe I can.”
Three parts humor.
One, two, maybe even three? powerful stories.
One final ingredient. This last magical thing must be added in the comfort of your own home, and it is the memory of someone in your life who believed in you. A parent, grandmother, preacher, teacher, coach, or friend – someone in your life who said, “You could do something, you could be somebody, don’t waste your gifts. I believe in you.” Put that in there. Now you are ready. And now you can apply this powerful elixir for use in your own life, or you can even give it to someone else. (Feel free to share it – the tin will never be empty.) You can give it to a child, or to someone who thinks they can’t go on. And after a while, hope will be everywhere.
Hope will be in libraries, in classrooms, in places of work, and even on the evening news. Every night, they will mention it during the weather…
“The pollen count was high today, as was the heat index, but the good news is, so was the Hope Count – the Hope Count was 8.2 today – which sets a record for the surrounding area, and the station has been flooded with calls from our viewers talking about how much they were enjoying all the hope in the air this time of year.”
Oh, and by the way. It’s perfectly okay to mix just a bit with a cold, clear glass of ice water – and people could have a nice long drink of hope.
As for the price, don’t worry…
If I can pull this off, I’ll gladly empty my pockets so everyone can have all the hope they need.
“The giving of hope is something we all need to remember and practice.”
n Dr. John Hall,
Texas Wesleyan University
n Kent Rader,
Amen to that brother. Amen to that. –Michael Johnson