holding hope in a broken cup

one of things I read about Christian’s contribution to creativity is that we can depict both the despair of fallenness and the glory of the goodness of God’s good creation,*

most of the time I find that I have all sorts of joy in seeing the wonderful glory of God seen in his good creation and in people who wear his fingerprints all over them

but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the brokenness, the groaning of creation and its people who bear up under the grief of genocides, of people oppressed, of women and children living in fear, of domestic violence and children sent to school with hungry tummies, of creation neglected and the pursuit of wealth and happiness above all else

I feel the weight of this stretched out scale where I live in comfort when other Christian mamas and their babes are pursued to death… and I feel it like a hot burn down the back of my throat, and I feel it like a stone in my stomach and I feel like all I can offer is dust in my hands in a desert full of dust.

it’s like I am called to bring water, to be the scent of water, to bring refreshment to those who are longing and parched and all I have is a tiny broken cup

and I feel that water trickle out of me like unshed tears and drop and evaporate onto a land so dry it needs a flood

and my own lack of anything

my own barrenness

my fear

my emptiness

brings me to my knees

and with dry and cracked lips I whisper to the God who holds it all would you send streams over the dry land, would you rend the heavens and stand upon the earth, would you send a flood to wash away my sinfulness, my self-obssession, the claws of death and torrents of destruction that are sweeping like a cyclone across a desert

would you send the rain

and I am reminded, in the depths of emptiness I have access to a never-ending well

I am invited to drink deeply and freely of the waters that quench all of my longings

that even when I am a tiny and cracked cup hope can still be poured in

and Hope was always meant to be poured out – and a broken cup is a wonderful vessel for emptying its contents

a broken cup

and an endless supply of Hope

this is where I find myself today – small and broken, and cup titled upwards to the only source of Hope I know

He reached down His hand from above me; He held me. He lifted me from the raging water. He rescued me from my strongest enemy, from all those who sought my death, for they were too strong. They came for me in the day of my destruction, but the Eternal was the support of my life. He set me down in a safe place;  He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.
Psalm 18 – the words of Hope dripping out of my broken cup today

* N.T Wright’s book Surprised by Hope has a beautiful section on this


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