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At the epicenter of hope is anticipation. Standing on the edge, where grief and terror collide, there is a cold breeze. Shivering, we stand closer to the edge. The strength to endure arrives with protests; not to stop the pain, but to bring more of it… so we can prove we are stronger than the wind. There are voices surrounding, laughing at us. It is the wind’s chilled breath saying “it will be alright”. The heat rises within, even rage. It will never be alright! There is too much loss, too many tears to wash, and worse, too many rivers to cross! After this, we are alone again... Why? So we can listen. 

In the unsuspected silence, there are other voices. Oddly familiar, the voices are different, and yet the same. In the distant echo we hear “What happened to Nic cannot be changed because he has changed”. You doubt this? Your heart beats in time with these distant voices; your breath joins the rhythm of the wind. Recall your tears were invented to join with the pain… For His Son’s pain too… This time, listen and feel these things. Do it again and again, until your suffering briefly lessens its grip. There, in that moment of brightness, there is joy… and until the darkness seeps in again, have this joy. This is the end result many who grieve miss… It is not letting go, it is not beginning again, it is not healing… It is believing… believing in a strong, stubborn, precious young man like Nic. The Creator made him for better than this.      

Our artist looks at the blank canvas; he is asked “What are your painting?” His answer? “Just watch…” There is great wisdom in this. For the brokenhearted, watching what is missing strengthens. Trying to find what is lost is hopeless. This is the anticipation of seeing the unseen. Watching the color mixtures, and the uncommon textures… letting go of the blank canvas and allowing Nic to appear…. Our artist listens; not to critics or to coaches or to comforters. In the silence, our artist listens for where God places His Hands.                   

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