I blushed and chuckled a little writing that headline, as I considered how it might trigger your email spam filter and pique your interest. Since I have your attention (hee hee), I will share what is in my heart.
Hope is passion. I devoted an entire chapter to it in “The World Needs Hope” and for good reason. It is not limited to the kind of passion that ignites the silver screen or the cliffhanger embraces of daytime television. Passion does, indeed, emotionally entwine people through interactions with couples, friends and families. It is crucial to have zeal and good old-fashioned chemistry, yes. If timing is right and hearts are willing, such passion could even be kindled by a grin, a goofy faux accent and the word, “Hello.”
But what about the passion of conversation, the passion of common interests, the passion of discovery and the passion of hope?
The stacked words below sent my heart and mind swimming, after I found them beaming from the shelf of a cute vintage shop in an eclectic Brisbane neighborhood.
I have seen similar ensembles before. However, after having a lovely brunch with phenomenal friends and walking a sunlit street on a bustling Sunday, I was thinking of all the passions that life holds. Those passions begin with a spark of hope.
Hope for surprisingly rich connections. Hope for daily fulfillment. Hope for years of deep, romantic love. Hope for a stellar jam session. Hope for a way to serve. Hope for spiritual awakenings. Hope for that butterfly-in-the-stomach, welling-up-in-the-throat, tingly-as-a-sudden-breeze, happy-as-a-hummingbird feeling of being alive.
Seeker. We are all seekers. Whether we are seeking consistency or spontaneity, we hope passionately to achieve the things that define our bliss. Some of us spend our entire lives seeking and, so long as we feel gratitude and presence along the way, that’s great. Others seek, pause, seek, pause. It’s like sonar passionately reaching, pulling and registering.
Lover. This word is dear to me in so many ways. My dad (God rest him) called me “lover” because I was an affection, sensitive and empathetic child. It also could have been because, like him, I was a lover of all things . . . to the point of playful distraction and constant activity. Lovers come in all shapes and sizes. You can be a passionate lover in the physical sense, a passionate lover of life, a passionate lover of the environment or simply a passionate lover of quiet personal space. Those passions feed how you hope and express yourself.
Keeper. This has a long history in my lexicon. It started as a word for Tupperware in my family, which still makes me chuckle since we could rarely “keep” the lids with the containers. Later, keeper was tied to relationships, as in that guy or gal you take home to the folks. Now, I see an expanded and hopeful meaning for keeper—it is hope keeper. The individual who tucks hope away in their heart, who passionately hopes and sees the light of life. A hope keeper is someone who choses, despite the tides or the trials, to inspire and exude hope.
I know some outstanding hope keepers, who may not always see themselves that way. In particular, I will callout one who seeks balanced solutions, who passionately stands up for family, who faces each day with fresh hope, who recognizes the good in others, who perseveres despite fierce setbacks, who jumps up to defend the hopeless and who uses “hope” in conversation in ways that make you believe it’s possible. His hopeful passion inspires me.
In return, I passionately hope you choose to be a seeker, a lover and a keeper of hope.