There is a strip mall church right by DD's house and right next to Sonic. Needless to say, I pass by there often. They do the cutesty sign thing that irritates me so but last week, I just couldn't shake it.

Jesus - an alternative to despair... Really, so let me get this straight. No Jesus, Despair everywhere and with Jesus, no despair. Doesn't sound right to me. There were daily Sonic runs last week and there would be that sign. We are a hit and run culture. Stop light attention spans, you have about 5 seconds to get our attention and then we are off to the next thing.

I got home and after being mad that this sign was ruining the whole human race, one sign reader at a time, I went over to Wikionary to see the proper meaning of the word despair even though I already knew what it was and it said,

despair To be hopeless; to have no hope

I stopped in my tracks. My definition of despair was a bit different. The sign was right, I still didn't like the working but it was right. When you choose to accept that Jesus is who He says he is, life doesn't automatically get better, in fact, it can and often does - get worse but the one thing that does come with Him is hope. Part of what He offers is hope. Not that everything well now be hunky dory (did I really just type that?) Everyone will be and stay healthy, bills will all be paid and husbands will remember anniversary's complete with flowers and a cellist.

The part that we need to take ownership of is to accept that we are no longer hopeless. That there is hope that Someday, it will all make sense. In that hope, our part is not only to accept it but live it. The understanding of hope is what made me do a 360 turnabout in capital punishment. It was a long process but I finally decided that because of the hope I had come to believe it, I could defer my revenge. That is how I feel now, I hope I always will.

Speaking of hope, Stellan is back in the hospital and surgery is going to happen soon. It is less than ideal and more than very scary. Stellan Story is one of hope that I have been able to sharing and learn about hope in the midst of what I thought was despair but isn't. As long as there is hope, despair can't be. It is one or another, no matter how the Story goes or ends - we get to pick which one we will live...