Can I be real with you for just a minute?
I love words. I love the flow of the pen across an empty page. However, there are those moments when the thoughts are swimming inside my head longing to be free, but it is as if they are stuck somewhere between my mind and my hand. And those are the times when I am reminded that I need to just stop and do some soul listening. That, my friends, is what happened to me this weekend, and I am so grateful.
In mid-June, our friends, Scott and Mindy, their six children, two neighbors’ kids, Mindy’s brother, and Gracie (the family pet from Thailand) came to visit. This was a special visit for our family because it was the first time we got to meet the sweet Asian treasure that we had been praying for and supporting for over a year and a half. Levi came home to his forever family on April 22, 2017. Never before have you seen love given so freely, without reservation, or a heart so grateful for EVERYTHING!!! And when I say everything, I mean everything. His smile, it lights up the room. You would never believe that you are looking at the same child if you saw a picture of him from nearly four months ago and a picture of him now.
Long after their return to Florida, my friend Mindy posted one of the last pictures of Levi in China and talked about his sad eyes… his sad, empty eyes. Those pictures brought to life, for me, more than ever the Proverb that says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
My eyes were quickly drawn to two words: “hope” and “deferred.”
Hope… that trust or reliance on, desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment…
Deferred… to put off, postpone…
Therefore, hope deferred would be to put off or postpone trust or desire. When hope — something we are trusting in or believing to come about — is deferred or put off/postponed, it truly does make the heart sick. The sick heart, the sad, empty eyes — you’ve seen them. I have seen them. We have all seen them whether we like to admit it or not… the pictures of the starving children, with the bloated bellies, in Africa… the rough and tumble group of siblings facing yet another move and another family because they are caught in the foster care system with what seems like no end in sight… or the Chinese treasure who has been sitting in an orphanage for 1,683 days waiting for someone to love him and to love on.
The coolest part of this Proverb is not the sick hearts nor the deferred hope; the coolest part of is that: a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. The longing of a heart fulfilled brings forth hope anew. That which was once on the verge of death is brought to life! This is a love so freely given. This is a heart that is finally set free… this is Hope Deferred…
Sad, empty eyes looking out of you and piercing me
What brings you so much pain?
What could it be?
Sad, empty eyes looking out of you begging to be free
What brings you so much heartache?
What could it be?
Sad, empty eyes looking out of you longing to see
Hope spring alive
Could it really be?
Hope no longer delayed
Empty eyes cease to be
Life springs forth and the heart is set free.
Dedicated to Levi Simeon Wise… thanks for letting me be a part of your circle of love.