Voice of hope
My mother got seriously ill when she was 97. One time, to the family’s surprise, she found the strength to sing. “Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard. Hope with a gentle persuasion whispers a comforting word…”
We captured those blissful moments on our video cameras.
Hope is that glimmer of light we see when uncertainties surround us. It springs eternal in the human heart, as they say, and this must be because hoping is a positive part of human nature.
Recently, a local television program showed how hope could empower a young man from a poor family to muster an amazing zest for life even though he was weighed down with a rare bone disease. It was heartbreaking to watch Lawrence “Inan” Molinas, garbed in his high school uniform, walking on all fours on a long and stony road to school. Bullies would often laugh at him, calling him “kalabaw, aso, unggoy.”
A doctor who examined Inan said his illness was curable, but medical treatment would cost millions of pesos.
These harsh realities, however, could not keep the young man from moving forward with a hopeful heart and a vibrant spirit.
Hope is actually a fervent wish, a humble prayer for good things to happen to oneself as well as to others according to God’s plans and purposes. It fortifies faith and serves as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong, as the Bible’s Book of Hebrews says.
Expectation, as differentiated from hope, is a demand for things to go one’s way. When something contrary to one’s expectation happens, one’s usual reaction is to protest, fight against it, and refuse to let go.
On the other hand, one feels deeply grateful when the thing hoped for happens. But when it does not, instead of harboring frustration and bitterness, he accepts it as a message that perhaps he may have to work and pray harder or learn a valuable lesson, or he needs to muster greater faith—that something better might be in store for him.
The book “When Life Begins at Sunset” has a chapter titled “Hope for the Black Hole” which tells why British philosopher Anthony Flew became an atheist. Early in life, he saw how anti-Semitism made millions of people suffer. Losing hope, he questioned God’s goodness and, for many years, refused to believe in His existence.
At the age of 81, however, Flew found himself seeking the “Source of Life” and realized that the wonder and order of the world could be attributed only to God as its creator. He then wrote the book “There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.”
Amid the problems that beset families and nations, we may easily ignore the power of hope in our efforts to find the desired solutions.
Just how many lives have been saved by words of hope?
Last Nov. 13, the Inquirer came out with a story titled “Hopeline, Lifeline” by Jocelyn R. Uy. Hopeline is a 24/7 telephone counseling service for people suffering from depression. Nameless counselors help and guide callers “through their darkest hours.” With voices of hope, “calm and reason,” responders have even helped prevent suicide attempts among the callers.
If we care to look, we will find well-springs of hope—a helping hand, a sincere smile, genuine gestures of friendship, acts of humility and forgiveness, inspiring stories, music, prayers and words of God—that can help refresh our weary souls and change our lives for the better.
My mother passed on a few days after singing “Whispering Hope,” leaving behind this sweet, powerful refrain to inspire us: “Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice… making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.”
Prosy B. Torrechante, 70, loves reading and meeting up with friends.
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