Waiting, Beauty and Hope: Advent Reflection on Hope

I have learned that hope gives birth to courage, and courage leads to creativity; and that creativity opens the door for the fruits of the spirit to dwell within. But one may ask, ‘What comes before hope?’  I believe it is trust. Before trust comes gratitude.

Finding Hope

Beth Sabado

Columban Lay Missionaries

 

Who would have thought that one day we just wake and everything had to stop, everything had to change, to be reconfigured?  We are now entering the eighth month of ‘captivity’. My cry to God is getting louder day by day ‘How long, O Lord, must we keep waiting? How long, O Lord, till we are free?  

During the fourth month of quarantine, the inability to physically connect and function the ‘usual way’ had started to take its toll on us in the house.  Boredom, irritability, restlessness and feeling useless started to kick in. I thought we need to be creative to save our sanity. In a conversation with our staff, we thought that baking food items for online selling would be good to occupy our idle time.  This also comes with a hope that in our little way we can raise funds for Columban Mission. We did some product research and development, and we continue to improve on them as we go along. Initially, we offered our baked items only to close friends. Packaging was a challenge then, but we’ve managed to address it in due time.  Eventually, our circle of supporters became wider through word of mouth, from friends who contacted their families and network of friends, then finally we had our first ‘official’ buyer who ordered two pieces of round chicken pie.

Beth

Our enthusiasm and excitement died down when we received a photo of the pies she ordered. They crumbled! With such embarrassment, I remember apologizing profusely. She assured us that the taste was great and suggested that perhaps we need to use a properly sized box to have a steady hold and lessen the chances of the pie crumbling.  Looking at the image of the crumbled pie, it felt like the hope we had started to build suddenly collapsed…the flickering light of hope that was supposed to lead us somewhere had gone off.

Pope Francis said, ‘Amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others.’

I have learned that hope gives birth to courage, and courage leads to creativity; and that creativity opens the door for the fruits of the spirit to dwell within. But one may ask, ‘What comes before hope?’  I believe it is trust. Before trust comes gratitude. 

The crumbled pie experience didn’t stop us but had motivated us to improve our product line, our packaging and handling. We wake up each day in anticipation to what it is to come. It is a small venture but it feels good to be productive. From that tiny flicker of hope, it feels good to be able to contribute something.  We continue to hold on to hope.

Beth 2

You, who believe in us, our friends, benefactors, partners and customers, have given us hope and your generosity has enabled us to help some of the victims of typhoons ‘Rolly’ and ‘Ulysses’ in Bicol, Marikina and Tuguegarao. And we remain grateful beyond words for your goodness.

Hope leads to freedom and indeed, this is the message of advent, that we bring hope to others.

 Beth 3