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Signs of Hope

Today I am deeply grateful for the Dial Hope Board of Directors and for all who give so generously of their time behind the scenes to make Dial Hope a reality.

After surviving the Holocaust, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Victor Frankl wrote the brilliant book, Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning. In this book, he relates the experience of having everything he owned stripped away from him - including a manuscript which he had written and hidden in the lining of his coat.

Later, even the clothes off his back were taken from him. In place of his own clothes, he was given the worn out rags of a fellow prisoner who had died in the gas chamber. In the pocket of his new coat, he found hidden not the manuscript he had lost, but a single torn out page from a Hebrew prayer book. On this page was the most holy Jewish prayer, the Shema Yisrael - what Jesus later called the greatest commandment, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

This single page gave him hope, and he took it as a sign of God’s faithfulness. Frankl explains the meaning of his experience like this: “How should I have interpreted such a ‘coincidence’ other than as a challenge to live my thoughts instead of merely putting them on paper?”

In desperate times, we need reminders of God’s faithfulness. We need signs that lead us again to hold onto hope. Sometimes those reminders can come through words spoken by friends or strangers. Sometimes they come through familiar prayers or hymns. Sometimes they come through what we would call ‘coincidence.’ But, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, they are there.

Let us pray: Loving God, I pray today for those facing mighty struggles and for those carrying heavy burdens. Grant them signs of your love and faithfulness and strength to live in a way that your love would be evident. May your mercy and grace fall afresh on each of us this day. I also pray today for men and women in the military, for their families and for our veterans. I entrust them especially to your care - even now. Amen.

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