What does hope look like?

This is one of the questions we here at Feeding Missouri have been pondering during this, the year of hope.

It’s not an easy question to answer. Most people know what hope feels like, but can hope actually be seen when it’s at work in someone’s life?

Earlier this week, I came across a photo, and I said, “that’s it. That is what hope looks like.”

The picture (if you can’t see it above) features a patch of dry, barren earth with just the slightest bit of new life growing up out of the cracked soil.

Hope defies reason. It fights when the battle seems futile, and it persists even when the odds are not in our favor.

In a typical shift at a local food pantry, you can see hope can take many forms.

Hope is the tired smile you get from the single mom who refuses to stop looking for work even though months of job-hunting have left her exhausted with no more savings and children to feed.

Hope is the twinkle in the eyes of a 6-year old who has never experienced a day that included three meals, but he can tell you about a future where he will have more than enough food to share with others.

Hope is the nod you get from a retired man who’s been denied medical coverage and assistance time and time again, but he never stops looking for ways to live the rest of his life without pain, because he wants to see his grandson graduate high school.

There are circumstances and situations so bleak and wretched that it would be easy for someone to just give up, but the smallest glimmer of hope can change everything.

Hope grows, when we know people care, and we all have the power to sow a seed of hope.

If you have time, talents or funds to share with others in need, please consider becoming a provider of hope to our neighbors in need.