“To the Jew, there is only one unforgivable sin, and that is the sin of despair… Think of the times you’ve been surprised…as you looked at a situation and deemed it hopeless. Then, lo and behold, forces you did not even realize existed broke in and changed everything….” — The Hopeful Heart, John R. Claypool.
At some point we all have experienced despair. It might be over something as trivial as a lost football game, or a serious facing prison and financial ruin, or even worse. As importantly we have had friends who have lost hope and were convinced there life is over. How do we respond?
When a tragedy occurs such as a shooting or a natural disaster there are those who immediately want to debate gun control or global warming, and there is a right time to address both those issues, but immediately afterwords is a time to mourn, to be quiet, and then ask how can we help the victims heal.
It is not by accident that Christ’s ministry focused on those in despair — the poor, the sick, and the sinners. His message was that knowledge of his love for them, and all of them, was the way to overcome lost hope and despair. May we respond in kind to our neighbors and ourselves when when they grapple with a feeling of hopelessness.
Despair cannot exist in a room filled with love.