This summer, as I may have said before, is a summer of weddings for Mary and me. We went to a nephew’s wedding in May, then Kristen Panther’s wedding was in July. Mary and I traveled to New Hampshire and will travel to Minnesota for two more weddings. I have had the privilege to work with three couples, doing pre-marriage counseling. It has given me hope.
Josiah and Taylor were already married for several years when they visited and worshipped with us in May and June. Taylor will have given birth to their first baby by the time you read this article. I had lunch with Josiah a couple of months ago. The conversation we had gave me hope.
Three Lutherhaven counselors, stayed in Schmidt Hall for a week, and taught Vacation Bible School (Day Camp) during the day. They were very energetic, very committed. I took them out to dinner Sunday night before Day Camp started. I quizzed them, asking them a million questions about what has influenced them (books, movies, classes) and what they have learned and what are their hopes for the future. They were a wealth of information. And they gave me hope.
Perhaps you have noticed a theme here. The young people I talked with over the last several weeks have given me hope. That’s not to say that I don’t have conversations with older folk that give me hope, as well, but conversations with younger people are rarer for me. These conversations felt like a gift. And almost like God was trying to make a point. I think I needed a hint of hope.
The on-going pandemic has taken a lot out of many of us. God sometimes acts in subtle ways and sometimes in more obvious ways to restore hope. Whether it is a garden growing, or a conversation, or an answer to prayer, God is generous with hope. I pray that we pay attention!
Pr. Bob Albing