What is hope? That's what I was asked to write about. I felt clueless: What insight can I offer that hasn't been discussed already?"
Fortunately, I received answers to my questions during Holy Week.
After reading The Passion, I started a Taize recording of "Jesus remember me, when you come into your kingdom." While it was playing, I walked among the residents offering each an opportunity to hold a small wooden crucifix.
If hope is palpable, I saw it when they clutched the crucifix using hands wracked with arthritis. I heard it when they thanked me. I felt it in their wiping tears off the crucifix as they handed it back to me. During those thirty minutes, the amount and depth of hope that passed to me was an immeasurable blessing.
When I had a chance, I fell to my knees and thanked God for allowing me that glimpse into what hope meant to those precious souls. I also prayed, maybe even hoped, that the residents’ prayers found their way to God.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all realized "cultivating hope" may be as simple as "paying forward" our hope to those in need of it.