Attributes Of Compassion

Day 2 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Hope: A Great Place to Start

Hope. It’s a word with a plethora of meanings in today’s culture. “I hope it doesn’t rain.” “I’m hoping for a raise.” It’s often used as a feeling of desire or as a wish.

In the Bible, the words for “hope” have the meaning of confidence and security—having no doubt. Biblical hope is built on a sure foundation. We can have joy knowing that we have full confidence in God, who is our hope.

Edie Wadsworth contemplated hope while traveling with Compassion International to one of the poorest places in Nicaragua:

We drove 2 hours to a city dump, just outside Leon. The smoldering decay looked like the leftovers of an apocalypse. Smoke rose up in twisted rings, like the Devil himself had been puffing on a big cigar. There were pockets of people, digging through the rubble, hoping to salvage enough trash to survive another day. My stomach turned inside out as I got out of the van…

Emaciated dogs tore through heaps of God-only-knows-what, while a handsome fella tried his best to restring an old plastic yellow guitar. Maybe he knew something about the hope that perches in the soul. Maybe his little sister did too, because she offered to let him use her necklace as one of the strings. It didn’t take him long to hear the music and he knew just what to do.

We talked to their grandmother, who has been eeking out a bleak existence at this dump for 22 years. I could hardly fathom her life but she told her story with honor and looked us right in the eyes as she defended the only way of life she’d ever known. This is how she feeds her family. This desolate place is where she begins every day of her life; without food, without shelter, without the most basic of human needs.

I was so haunted by the metaphor of this trash heap, by the decay, the smell and the hopelessness of it all. This is what separation from Christ looks like. This is Gehenna. This is hell on earth.

This is where we all start. And this ash heap is where He finds us and saves us. Every last one of us.

This is a good place to start, because He is the God who conquered death and hell. [He can give] them the kind of hope that is eternal and ‘never stops at all.’ Hope that turns ashes to beauty…

Continue reading Edie Wadsworth’s blog post.