Saturday morning, my husband and I had a breakfast date. There’s nothing like eating ham and eggs at the counter of a local breakfast hotspot to remind one that life is a crowded, aromatic, tattooed, precariously maneuvering, noisy, coffee-cup-dropping, mixed-up order, savory exchange between people and the things in their individual but inevitably overlapping pathways.
After the draining events of our previous week, this date was just what my husband and I needed to revive both body and soul. It certainly proved a more comforting means of distraction than our movie-watching endeavor of the previous weekend when we rented The Changeling. I won’t ruin it for anyone by going into details, but the movie is disconcerting and disturbing on a number of levels. It was not the movie to buoy our flagging spirits. However, at the very end of the movie, the heroine (superbly played by Angelina Jolie) does express hope in the future. And hope is, ultimately what life is about, isn’t it? If you’re like me, you need occasional reminders of this truth – perhaps even signs.
One sign many of us were probably reminded of yesterday (Easter Sunday) is the sign of the empty cross. The resurrection of Christ provides the ultimate hope for hungry pilgrims in life’s diner. Signs also come in forms that are more mundane.
I’ve told a number of friends about the sign (a calligraphied note, really) that I saw taped to my mother-in-law’s dresser mirror the first time I visited her house. It was a quotation from Joel 2:25, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” At the time, I thought it a very peculiar verse for someone to post so conspicuously. The more I got to know my mother-in-law’s story, the more I understood why she found so much hope in those words. Eventually I began applying them to my own life experiences. I began to understand several things about life: 1) there are locusts in life, 2) they swarm, 3) sometimes they eat for years, and 4) God does promise to restore those years. Incredible hope.
Last summer I saw another sign of hope…a literal sign of Hope. It announced the tiny western Arizona village of Hope, Arizona. I took a picture of the sign because even then I realized it was more than a marker announcing a town through which I happened to be passing. It was a great visual reminder of why we persist at sitting at the counter just beyond reach of the gigantic expanse of golden hashbrowns.