Not an optimist
I am not one for reposting many things I see on my home Facebook page. I troll through those rather quickly. But now and then, one has a message I think might encourage someone needing that. As a writer, I appreciate the combination of a visual with a message of encouragement. And I believe that people doing more heart listening offers hope to improve the life of the listener and the speaker. We’re all connected. So I reposted that encouraging message. But an old friend shot back that I was an optimist and that evil in the world was growing. Really, I thought, I hadn’t noticed the horde of humanity fleeing the horrors of ISIS, the increased violent death of policemen on the job, the nightly news reports of mayhem. Surely I do know that it seems as if we are drowning in a stormy sea of evil so I am not ignorant. And I am not an optimist. An optimist is somebody who tends to feel hopeful and positive about future outcomes, one who expects the best possible outcome. I’ve seen some truly sad outcomes in my own life in the last few years. As a writer, I know once I release words into the public domain, I yield control over perceived meaning. Once I share another’s post on fb, I have done the same. Readers and viewers now have the power of interpretation. And I should not enter into debate over comments. Still the label of me as an optimist rankled. I live life on the intense edge on the inside while usually appearing relaxed on the outside. I often battle despair and discouragement. I make a poor optimist. I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist. I am a realist. And in spite of that quality, in spite of evil, in spite of painful disappointments, I am always hopeful. Because what I am is a Christian who is a writer, a reader, a thinker, an intense feeler of emotions, an observer of life, of people, of the range of life’s events from horrifying to comforting and reassuring. I am a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a mentor, a friend and hard to admit, sometimes a foe. There are things that require me to stand in opposition, to hold firm. And I know what I know. I know we serve an Almighty God, who we can know and yet not know. He is God and I am not. I sense his presence when I weep in grief or laugh in joy. An optimist? No, just a weak human who is saved and redeemed, who knows in the end God is going to make it all right. He has promised and he is the perfect promise keeper. I trust in him. Maybe I am an optimist in that sense. I trust this promise maker, promise keeper. Revelation 21:4 English Standard Version (ESV) ”He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Jesus, I trust that you have already triumphed. I know it does not look that way much of the time. But I have this hope that holds steady. I thank you and praise you for that.