“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
—Proverbs 13:12 (NIV).
Hopelessness is portrayed cuttingly and faithfully in the image of the The Wall (1979)—a cult classic for all Eighty-ites. It’s the story of Pink, the rock star, who lost his father in World War II and struggled for identity during his 1950s childhood, eventually growing to befriend isolation, loneliness, a thousand deferent voices and depression; cut to the heart in dire hopelessness. His father-figures were fantastically inept.
Those marching hammers are a vision cast over the memory of all Baby Boomers and Gen-X’s, presumably. We grew to love the images shed and the negative though realistic commentary of life, as it was then, today.
Hopelessness. No light, only darkness. The strange thing is we actually like dark music, dark art. It speaks truth to us. There is a real sense of hopelessness we can all see in life, yet it’s our very nature to seek to overcome it. But, it doesn’t stop us showing up and sitting there in sorrowful nostalgia, even for a moment’s respite.
Hope is the nectar of life. It nourishes and lubricates. It sees to our plans and puts proper perspective over our doubts. It’s filled, of course, by faith—good or bad. We hope, good.
Hope is not hope at all if we see it, yet the very nature of hope takes us necessarily to a conclusion—the realised hope—for no realisation of hope means for us, eventually, a ‘sick heart.’ Children are noted most especially in this, for a chronic lack of realised hope strikes a wilfully mean blow in the heart of a child. You can see a sarcastic kid has lost his or her sense of real hope in good. And it may never return, if not for a miraculous, God-shaped intervention.
And children grow into independent adults. The trouble is a grown kid, a purveyor of learned helplessness, is an utterly destructive influence on themselves and others—their adult “freedom” sees to it. Their rampant denial, cool crutches and steady grip on insanity sees to it that the curses they’re betwixt with are propagated on their very generation—to any innocent, vulnerable one around them.
Of course, this is stereotypical.
There’s something that just has to be said. The world trades in a fake hope, evidently, and hopelessness is covered over for the ‘wide way’ of Western life. All manner of drug or drink or substance or vice-shaped activity is used by the millions to “install” imitation hope. And it’s a very poor, deathly imitation of the real thing.
The cause for hope in this generation is only as urgent as it’s always been. It’s urgent!
A longing fulfilled is a tree of life, and as a tree we imagine life profuse with—what can we say—life. Each branch, each leaf, each relationship, each situation... teeming with life and positive energy.
Hope is the one thing behind all this life. We sow hope everywhere we can, simply. The need’s urgent!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.