The bags are packed. The food is in the cooler and the bows and arrows are loaded behind the back seat of the old Dodge Ram. Two big boys and their dad, ready for a hunting adventure. Hopeful.

Full of anticipation, of excitement, of the possibilities that the week might bring. Of fun and adventure and maybe, just maybe, the opportunity to bring down The Big One. Oh, the stories they will return with.

And one smaller boy, left behind. The adventure isn’t his, so the hope is harder to hold. The excitement is another’s; the anticipation, the opportunity, the fun … it is the hope of others.

To hold another’s hope, to share with joy what isn’t mine, to live in the shadow of another’s excitement … this is a challenge. To do it, is grace.

I remember being at the party of the new mother holding hope in her arms when my own were still empty. I remember the weddings, the hope for their futures bright in their eyes, when my own ever after seemed a dismal thing.

With mother pride I snap the pictures of the ones going, smiles of anticipation on their faces. With mother pride I take another, of the small one hamming up his disappointment for the camera. I wish I would have caught the dimple in his smile when he laughed a few seconds later. And with mother pride I amen his prayer for his dad and his brothers, that they would have a great time and lots of fun and that he hoped they would indeed come home with the big one.

Hope shared. It is a beautiful, graceful, loving thing. I give thanks for this ten-year-old teacher who has shown me the way.

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Sharing hope, today, with this community:

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