a prisoner of hope


i’ve been a prisoner to a lot of different things. and people, in a sense.

i’ve been a prisoner to acceptance and validation.
a prisoner to performance and accolades.
a prisoner to your perception of me.
i’ve been a prisoner to ideals and dreams. some have come to fruition. many have not.
i’m usually a prisoner to my past, my sins and shortcomings.
a prisoner to fear. loneliness. never being good enough.
and a prisoner to not feeling loveable.

but i have never been a prisoner of hope.

hope has always been a faithful friend. someone i can come back to whenever i have nowhere else to turn. and in a sense, hope oftentimes is all we have left.

but i don’t want hope to be simply my friend.
i want to be its prisoner.
i want to be unable to escape hope’s reality.
to have it chained around my ankle, carrying it wherever i may limp.

hope is more than a wish. it’s more than a dream that things will get better someday.
it’s an assurance. a promise. a place to hang your hat.
as real as any prison cell.
except this prison is filled with light.
and laughter.
and joy.
and something unswerving, like an anchor.

being a prisoner of hope sets me free.

“return to the stronghold, O prisoners of hope…”
zechariah 9:12


#10) hope

hopeanybody who knows me know that i love good Christmas music.

(nothing by Mariah Carey. or The Carpenters. that’s not good.)

but my favorite song this holiday season has been a song that is not holiday-ish in nature at all.

it’s called “Say Something” by a band named A Great Big World.

(to understand where i want to go with this post, watch/listen to the end.)

in the words of one of my favorite theologians, “i’m not a smart man,” but it seems this song is about a man who is waiting for his lover to say something that will change their relationship forever. if she doesn’t say it, he has to give up.

and so he implores her…say something.

this is a song about hope.

even until the very end of the song, he holds on to the hope that she will say something. throughout the song, the chorus goes: “say something, i’m giving up on you.”

but at the end, the last words of the song are “say something.” there is no “i’m giving up on you.” he holds on to hope until the very end.

i am not trying to over-spiritualize anything, but i wonder if this is how people felt as they waited on God. He had made some great promises about the coming of a King…a Savior…One who would save God’s people.

but He had been quiet for lots of years. nearly 400 of them.

say something.

and then, seemingly out of nowhere, there are rumblings under the surface. a baby is born to an old woman who would grow up to prepare the way for the Lord.

a young, poor, peasant teenager grows a baby inside her womb without ever being intimate with a man.

and an angel appears to lowly shepherds, with the glory of God Himself shining around, and makes this announcement: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

God said something.

hope makes the wait worth it.

grandma jo

yesterday, my grandma jo passed away.

alzheimer’s stole her mind years ago and she has been “gone” for quite some time. but, as my mom said, “this is different.”

i’ve been asked by my family to do her funeral service. please pray for me as i search for words of hope, encouragement, and comfort. also, pray for my mom and my grandfather, and the rest of the  my family, as we grieve and celebrate her life.