She didn’t seem to notice the hard boiled egg my kid smashed into the couch moments before her arrival. She carefully maneuvered her swishing skirts around it as she drank the coffee I gave her in what I prayed was a clean mug- you never can tell with our haywire dishwasher. Though her presence in my life generally indicates a time where I unload everything onto her and ask her to pray for me, she had a few things she was carrying on her heart that day and I loved that our relationship is as such that she just poured out what they were. I marveled at how differently she did it than I do, however. No tears. No trace of despair. She wasn’t looking to me for solace, or even comfort- just a sounding board, someone to walk with her, not for her. I know what my reaction would have been to some of the events she told me about, and I nodded empathetically. It might have broken me for weeks- at least put me out of commission for the day. After we prayed and she was walking out of my house, I told her that I would pray for her heart for the rest of the day to which my Sister Sunshine replied,
“Don’t you worry about my spirit. I’m a prisoner of Hope.”
I have been a prisoner of many things. Prisoner of people’s approval and acceptance. Prisoner of fear and anxiety. Prisoner of worst case scenarios and preparing for the unthinkable. Prisoner of insecurities. Prisoner of poor choices. But I have never, in all my 30 years of living, referred to myself as a prisoner of Hope.
As believers, we know we have hope. We talk about it all the time. Drop it into conversations about loss and death. But rarely have I met anyone who is prisoner to it. Who is held captive by the hope we have in Christ. Such language is used often but is merely rhetoric. I’ve never seen someone live it out like Sister Sunshine.
Someday I hope someone is able to say it about me.