I always have my camera in my purse, so I whipped it out and took a picture of our friends then had our friends take a picture of Hubs and me.
After my friend snapped the picture, she handed me my camera and as I turned to put it back in my purse, I realized something. I gasped, grabbed my shoulder, and exclaimed, "My hope is gone!"
Now, this took everyone aback for one startled moment. Our Sunday School lesson that morning had been about holding onto hope, so my comment probably seemed a direct contradiction to what we'd studied earlier--that for Christians, we are never without hope. Then Hubs said, "Oh, your pin." He sounded as dismayed as I felt. Yes, my "hope" pin was gone. The one I'd purchased right before my first novel, Waiting for Summer's Return, released in June of 2006 and had worn to every writing conference, book signing, and speaking event for the past six years. I'd pinned it to my blouse that morning for church.
(If you look closely, you can see my pin on my shoulder
in this pic from the 2011 ACFW conference...
and yes, that is the lovely Patti Jo Moore with me!)
We retraced our steps at the nature center, searching the walking paths. No luck. So we stopped by the office to ask if anyone had turned in a pin. No luck. Hubs and I needed to go to the grocery store, but he asked if I wanted to look for my pin a little more first. Of course I did, so we drove to the Subway, looked and asked. No luck. From there we returned to church, and there--in the parking lot right next to where we had parked that morning--lay my pin sparkling in the sunshine. My heart leapt! Until I got a close look at it.
Apparently it had been run over. It was broken. Bent. Irreparably shattered.
I confess, it made me sad--I loved that little pin. But I think I would have been even sadder had I not just taught a lesson on hope. I'd told the people in the class, "This world might rob of us loved ones, our job, our home, our health...but we always have the promise of eternal life with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That is our hope, and it is something we will never lose." Yes, my little "hope" pin was shattered and lost, but my HOPE was still very much intact.
Sweet people on Facebook have been sharing links to different kinds of "hope" pins with me. I haven't decided yet which one I will buy to replace the pin I enjoyed for a half dozen years. I'd like to find an identical one since I loved it so much, but if I can't, it'll be okay. As David said in Psalm 25:5, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long [emphasis mine]."
Isn't it interesting that I would lose my "hope" pin the very day we studied hope? His truth was still ringing through my heart, keeping me from giving in to sorrow at having to say goodbye to something that held value to me. His truth is this: Circumstances of the world might appear hopeless (just as putting my pin back together again would be hopeless) but with God? We've got hope. Always. Forever.
God bless you muchly as you journey IN HOPE with Him! ~Kim