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Dave Brisbin 8.25.19
My wife suggests I speak about hope, and I’d been given some hope this week, but in a way that is a bit harder to express than I’d like. Had a dream of a conversation with an old friend who took his own life just over three years ago. It was a full role reversal, where I—who’d been pastor and counselor in our time together—was now student as he was counseling me. And I can’t remember anything he actually said, but it was the way he said it that was arresting: with a presence, a calm assurance, gravity, and confidence that he didn’t display in life. And all the emotion that I realized I hadn’t fully processed in three years welled up in me, and all I could croak out was, “I miss you so much.” And his wordless reply was the centerpiece of it all. Just a look that didn’t include sadness or regret or even sympathy. There was a knowing in his eyes that said he recognized my pain and my fears, but that he was part of a different reality now, an unbroken connection that I could see as well, right now if I so chose.

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The dream has stuck with me, and as I think more on it, my friend’s wordless message restates the teachings of our Hebrew scriptures from Genesis to Jesus, and tells us that as bad as things can get here in this life, the whole universe was created for us as a nest in which to grow and find our purpose. And in that nest, nothing of what we really are is ever at risk. We have everything we need to find that different reality that looks like presence, calm assurance, gravity, and confidence in unbroken connection. Was pretty hopeful to me.

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