Based on an old post…. Kind of a Christmas wish I guess…
In the last months I have learned what it means to look for an olive branch.
Noah is confronted with water. Water all around. It has rained for 40 days and everywhere he can see, everywhere he can go, everywhere he can think and feel is water. There is no escape, no relief, no nothing. Simply water.
He sends out a dove and finally after what seems a forever wait the dove returns. He returns with an olive branch in his mouth…. a sign of hope… a sign of dry land…a sign of new birth… a sign of something better coming. And Noah knows the flood is not forever.
All of us have lived in flood lands. At times it seems like there is no where else to live. Our floods are different. The flood of depression…the flood of anger…the flood of loneliness…..the flood of resentment…..the flood of fear…..the flood of guilt….the flood of rejection….. At times anything can seem like it is all there is. And we are left seeking an olive branch, hoping against hope that something different is coming, that something better can be ours.
We find our olive branches often in each other. We have all had “Noah experiences.” Sometimes we can give advice and directions. We can say do this or do that. Sometimes all we can say is someone else made it. And sometimes that is the most important thing to do.
Someone once told me the reason we are given hope is to share it with each other. Life is full of floods and high waters. To know that we can make it and that there is a point and promise to making it, having others share their experience, their wisdom, and their hope is often the most vital thing that can happen. And no matter how messed up your life is, no matter how many mistakes you have made, how diminished or broken you feel like you are you can be the olive branch to someone else.
I remember a friend I talked to months ago. He was sorely depressed. He had a gun and was talking about ending it all. Years before he had shot himself in the head and lived. He wasnt afraid of the experience. I thanked him for his courage and he was astonished. I told him that what I admired about him was that he had to choose life everyday. He lived in a space of little promise, of little hope, and yet he chose life day after day. We talked for a while and he put the gun down. I told him that his courage gave me courage. I could also choose life even when I didnt feel like it, even when I didnt see the reason, even when I saw no hope. I told him his choice was an act of faith and that act was open to me. I was at a point in my life where I badly needed that olive branch. I wonder still, if he really knows how much good he did me.
It doesnt rain forever. What an important message. What an important message to share with others. What an important message for others to share with you. So much of love and care is the gift and giving of hope. It is one I hope you share with those around you.