Once upon a time, in the beginning, a story was told, a Word was heard. And the Word was Hope. And this Word had legs, and a voice, and a smile, and a desire to meet people and know them well. And the Word told stories and lived them out in such a way that hearts were warmed, seeds were sown, and lives were transformed. And to many this Hope was a Word full of goodness. Bringing nourishing food for their souls, a hand to lift them up, a reason to go on.
To others it felt like a burden because they found it hard to have Hope. It seemed like a street too busy to cross, a wall too high to climb, a refreshing drink just beyond their reach. And the Word understood this. And cared.
Others were angered by it. Because they had been hurt in the past, when Hope had been used as a weapon, a means of keeping them down. A weight of sadness and misunderstanding. And the Word understood this too. And cared.
To others it was the first rung on a ladder. And they were keen to climb a little. To explore. To try. To place one foot above the other and see where this climbing might lead.
There were others too, many of them, with lots of other responses. Including some who had never heard of Hope but found themselves curious and interested to know what it could mean.
Once upon a time, in the beginning, a story was told, and a Word was heard.
And around the world Hope rang out, to the sound of a million reactions.
‘Come to me all who are angry and weary and disappointed and hurt, and I will give you rest.’