The Promise of Hope

 The Promise of Hope
Music & The Spoken Word
Lloyd D. Newell
Jan 1, 2012
The beginning of a new year is a good time to remember that most darkness is temporary. No matter how bleak or dark things may seem at times, the long nights of winter gradually grow shorter. A new day eventually dawns, and with it comes a new beginning and new confidence. Hope is the flame that brightens the darkest nights.
During the dark days of World War II, a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp found a way to rekindle hope. It was the first night of Hanukkah (which, in most parts of the world, falls at the darkest time of the year). On this night, Jews traditionally light the first candle in their Menorah. Not having any provisions for such a celebration, the prisoner saved a scrap of bread from his meager meal and dipped it in grease from his dinner dish. After saying the appropriate prayer, he lit his makeshift candle.
His son said to him, “Father, that was food you burned. We have so little of it. Wouldn’t we have been better off eating it?” The father replied, “My son, people can live for a week without food, but they cannot live for one day without hope.”1
Hope is so much more than positive thinking. It’s deeper than smiley faces and lofty words, although a sincere smile or an expression of faith can be a good start. But true hope is found deep in the hearts of those who love. It is expressed through meaningful work and worthwhile activity. It is manifested in service, sacrifice, and selflessness. It leads us to see ourselves—and others—as children of a loving Heavenly Father who, as the Psalmist said, can be to us a light that casts away fear.2
Each new year and each new day can be filled with hope and possibility. When the night seems particularly dark, let us light a candle, even if only in our hearts, to the promise of hope.
1 See Harold Kushner, Conquering Fear: Living Boldly in an Uncertain World (2009), 93–94.
2 See Psalm 27:1.


  1. Love love love. Everything about this. XO

  2. Love love love - so basically I second what has already been said :) I love Music and the Spoken Word. Whenever my parents are in town, its tradition for us to go together :) Can't wait!

  3. So true. Touching story. Bring on the light!


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