Hope to the hopeless

David Garman

Admittedly, it can be in these days, a challenge to find a positive outlook. We must know, yet somehow remain unmoved by the gloomy news which seems to overshadow us. These things must needs be, then the end will come, as Y’shua said. The end of one thing is the beginning of another. When existence on this planet waxes worse and worse, as it definitely will, some will rise by the power of the Holy Spirit working in them. I’ve preached that these are the times in which we aspire to greatness, to do exploits in other words. It is time, having been inspired toward a new direction, to offer hope. Not hope as some ambiguous fanciful slogan, which has delivered nothing but hopelessness, a slogan designed to preempt the use of that term by us. But real hope, which will be in short supply.

As a family, we try to take a short trip, once a summer, to an attraction in or around our state. Eventually, we narrowed our options down to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. As it turned out, our little vacation placed into context many upcoming scenarios. A day well spent for us and our children. What comes to mind at the mention of Herbert Hoover but the Great Depression? This programmed response is proof that no good deed goes unpunished. Another topic for another post perhaps.

The time of the two world wars exemplifies what can happen on either extreme of the human spectrum. Y’shua taught that the upcoming tribulation will be a climax, a crisis of proportions never before known. People will be driven stark raving mad by the goings on.

One of the many inevitable outcomes of a great war is the depletion or the seizure of supplies. While visiting the above venue, we listened to oral histories giving witness to the pain and hopelessness of starvation. Elderly looking back to childhood describing the pangs of hunger, “like an open sore” in the middle of your body. Fields destroyed, crops burned, dwindling reserves were augmented with sawdust until they ran out. No bread. Malnourished bodies cannot fight off sickness, a common cold could be fatal. Such was the lot of millions in Europe and elsewhere through both wars.

Enter Bert Hoover, a Quaker. One clip in a different exhibit, quoted him as attributing his patience to sitting through long services as a boy, waiting as was their custom, for someone to become inspired to speak. Both of his parents died when he was a youngster. He was shipped off to the west where he was taken in and received an education. While in his twenties, his management skills made him the wealthiest man in the world at the time in his age bracket. Puts you in mind of Joseph, does it not. Seeing the plight of those facing death by starvation, he organized and implemented an urgent national effort to ship and distribute grain flour and other foodstuffs to the crisis areas, wherever in the world there was a need. There were many, friend or foe, didn’t matter. Not just to the docks, but the people. These heroic efforts ushered in his landslide victory for president.

Between the wars was the stock market crash. Though Hoover warned against stock speculation, the blame for the market crash was place squarely on his shoulders. Who else would Wall Street bankers accuse? In spite of this he accepted the role to repeat the effort in the aftermath of the second world war. He eventually regained his good reputation, becoming an adviser to subsequent presidents.

Even a small amount of love goes a long way in times of hopelessness. We have our own example of a witness from those days. My wife, Tamra and I were on honeymoon, visiting our lands of heritage. Our first night overseas, we stayed in a small town called Bad Mergentheim, on the Romantic Road. We had a few minutes after dinner to explore the beautiful hotel. As we walked, kindly man stopped and asked if he could help us. Upon hearing our response, he said “Ahh, British?” We politely said that we were American. “American?,” he said, “Would you have time to have a drink with us?”

His daughter owned the hotel bar, so he introduced us to her, his wife and some of the people there. I sat next to him, it was as though he’d been wanting to say this for a long time. After a little small talk, he put his elbow on the bar and told me not to listen to the news media, the German people love the Americans. We could sense the emotion welling up as he spoke. He said as a boy during the war, he recalled a simple act of kindness which lifted him out of the feeling of hopelessness and despair. “What are those candies with the hole in the middle?” Right away we both knew what he was talking about. He grabbed my arm with glee as I said “Lifesavers.” “Yes!,” he said. He remembered how wonderful, how meaningful it was to a little boy in war torn surroundings to have something which so contrasted with his immediate experience. The impact that American soldier had on him, giving him those candies was deeply positive. It gave the boy hope. That changes lives.

Hope when there is hopelessness, and it doesn’t take some grandiose exhibit. Think about it, a cup of water in Y’shua’s Name, in times like these, it is huge! Feed the hungry, we may only have a small amount ourselves. This is Y’shua, you clothed me, you fed me. Its most easy to give when we have a full stomach and are warm and dry. Prepare to give when every logical fiber in our being says no. By our fruit we will be known. Sensitivity to kindness will be very keen. A door will be open to Y’shua Messiah during these encounters.

To close, Hoover was given many gifts during his public life. Oddly, as a token of appreciation from one of the countries he had helped, he received a bronze statue. Now there were no statues of Hoover on the grounds of the venue, but there was one, a statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis!

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