Becky and Rich wanted to get some people who needed to hear stories about hope together with some people who needed to tell stories about hope.
When I write that sentence, I realize that means just about everyone. But you can’t invite everyone, not to the same living room at the same time.
The dream was to have some food together at tables. Then to listen to stories, 3 or 4, about 9 minutes each. And then to see what happened.
There would be no requests for funds, no long sermons. There would be gifts for people to take with them.
The stories would acknowledge that life has really hard events and moments and questions. And would acknowledge that God somehow in those moments, for at least these people, provided hope. Because the stories would be told out loud, face-to-face, it would be clear that these were people who still wrestled. People who didn’t have all the answers yet.
As Rich says, “hope is a confident expectation about the future based on faith that God keeps His promises.” But that means hope isn’t based on the present.
So Rich and Becky talked to a few friends. And their friends thought it was a really good idea.
Someone offered a family room in a house with enough space for about 50 people. Someone provided grilled pizza. People invited friends who might need to hear stories about hope in difficult times. And some people even drove to Colorado from Indiana.
One person talked about losing a child and having the strength now to talk with other people who have just lost a child. Another talked about growing up in chaos, and now helping children on the other side of the world who live in chaos. A third talked about an adult child lost in an accident, and offering hope to others in addiction. The fourth talked about a body-altering fall from a roof and now raising awareness and money for children rescued from trafficking.
It was a thoughtful, reflective evening. It took eighteen months to get to the three hours together. But several of us came away hopeful. And it was a very good time.
I’m guessing that you could do this, too. Rich and Becky would love to explain more. Just leave a comment and I’ll make sure there is followup. And that’s Paul Merrill and Rich Dixon in the photo, taken on that evening.