Hope does not disappoint. It’s the title of my blog, but also a mantra I have felt God continually pressing on my heart for the past couple months (and years, I suppose). This theme has presented itself lately through a few different shows and movies we’ve seen recently: “This Is Us” on NBC and the movies “Arrival” and “Collateral Beauty.”
This Is Us
If you have not yet seen this show…it’s not too late to start. It’s wonderful. The very first episode had us laughing, crying, and gasping at the twist in the end. In short, this show is about a family and life. Unlike many other shows, this show presents a healthy dose of reality amidst fiction. It shows that family is far from perfect, but love conquers all. It shows that life is messy and painful at times, but full of laughter and delight at others. My favorite thing about this show is how it helps you step into the shoes of every character, to see the world the way they see it, to feel hurt by the things that hurt them, to feel scared at not knowing how something will play out, and to hope that they will make it through, together.
Yes, this is a movie about aliens. But without spoiling too much (don’t read this paragraph if you haven’t seen it), it had a wonderful theme at the end: that a chance to love knowing there will be pain along the way is still worth more than never loving at all. Life can be deeply painful at times, but it’s still worth living because of all the treasures it holds in between. This is a wonderful illustration of what it looks like to choose joy amidst suffering.
Not only did I weep during the previews before this movie for “A Dog’s Purpose” (because coincidentally, we will be putting one of our beloved dogs to sleep this week), but I assure you that I wept during it too. The main idea of this movie is that a man who has suffered the loss of his child is having a hard time coping with that loss, so he writes letters to concepts: Time, Love, and Death. In the movie, he has the chance to speak face-to-face with each concept, which helps him process his grief. My favorite part of the movie was realizing the twists at the end. (Stop reading this paragraph if you don’t want to read a spoiler.) I loved how Time, Love, and Death ended up being paired with the company’s partner that specifically needed help coping with that particular concept. The guy who was struggling to face his own death was partnered with Death. The woman who was struggling with the passing of time was partnered with Time. And the man who needed to be reminded that love is something you choose to give to someone, even if it’s not returned or earned, was paired with Love. And then together, all three concepts helped the main character realize that life after losing his child is still worth living, that there’s still time to love, and time to live. It helped him see that good can come from bad circumstances. The movie calls it Collateral Beauty. I define it as the beautiful consequences that result from pain. It’s another way to describe joy, in my opinion.
Joy Does Not Mean Happiness and Hope Is Not Foolish
Joy is a perspective, not a feeling. Choosing joy doesn’t take away the pain you are feeling, but it can bring a beauty that you didn’t see before.
Similarly, hope is a perspective. And hope is like an underdog. It might take a few beatings along the way, but in the end, hope always wins. Life has both immeasurable happiness and suffering, but hope can persist through it all.