“And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
― J.R.R. Tolkein, Return of the King

There must be more than this. I believe that because if I did not believe it, the unfairness of this world would swallow me up in hopelessness. But I am a relentless, eternal, passionate optimist. I hold to hope that when things are seemingly impossible, or unreasonably unfair, or patently wrong there is a purpose to all of this, and somehow one day the sorrow will be eased by joy.

Then someone precious dies too young. Someone whose life was filled with goodness and generosity is gone, and I am washed with doubt. I begin to lose hope. Even in those times when I am near the point of giving up on my hope – just when I think my optimism is foolish and should be abandoned for some more sophisticated philosophy – I hold in my arms a new life. Precious and pure and filled with potential. The potential of meadow runs, and water slides, and skinned knees, and first love, and first car, and all of the things that may be overwhelms me as I hold this precious little one.

Then I remember my hope. My hope says that even though unfair happens, there is still life. Even though not right happens, we must still go on. Even when we lose love, it can be found again. Even when we hurt, we can find peace. Even though the weeping may endure for the night, there will be joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Just when all we can see is the grey rain-curtain, if we press on, the curtain will rise, and we will see it “under a swift sunrise” if we have hope.

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