October 6, 2014
“Hope is music in the heart.”
In a world that seems more crazy and uncertain every day, it can feel as though there is less and less for which we can be hopeful. But perhaps that is the very reason we need to be reminded of a story I first heard many years ago.
It tells about how one man created music to prevent war from taking away his joy. I think we all need to find a way to express the music of hope that is in our hearts.
After you’ve read this story, I will tell you how I have been able to hold hope in my heart and overcome a serious disability.
It was 1994. Daily, the city of Sarajevo was under siege. Mortars and artillery fire instantly transformed once beautiful buildings into rubble. Sarajevo’s citizens were frightened, weary and increasingly despondent. Then, one February day, a mortar shell exploded in the market killing 68 civilians. Many more were wounded and maimed from the blast.
A cellist with the Sarajevo symphony could no longer stand the killing. He took his cello to the market, sat down amidst the rubble and played a concert. When he finished, he simply took up his instrument and left.
Every day, for 67 days, he came to the market. Every day he played a concert. It was his gift of love to the city. He did it because he felt his community needed hope.
Hope is music in the heart. It is a gift given to each of us to see us through the night. Once you have lost hope, you have nothing left to lose. Utter hopelessness kills everything it touches. But hope gives us strength to continue, whether it is a marriage that is worth saving, a life that is worth living or a situation that is worth salvaging.
In the end, hope is a spiritual thing. When all is in chaos and ruin, hope is the knowledge that the music still goes on. In this vast and infinite universe, we are not alone.
During those times when all may seem to be crumbling down around you, can you hear the music in your heart — the song of hope? Listen carefully. It is there, playing for you.
Last year I struggled with a serious condition that wasn’t quite as bad as waiting for bombs to fall, but it brought its own kind of tension. Every day I had pain in my neck much like a cramp in the leg. The only thing treatment was to get Botox shots. They didn’t work and I ended up in the hospital.
I had to find a solution within myself. So I decided if my body was giving me stress, I would reduce any stress to the greatest extent possible. I would accept what life gave me each day without judging that what happened was good or bad.
During this time, we moved to a retirement community and my husband died. I learned to truly live each day with an open heart. The result has been almost miraculous. I no longer have pain in my neck and can drive again.
What do you do to distract yourself from the fear that the worst that can happen will happen? What do you do to maintain hope that things will get better?
When you share this post with a friend, I encourage you to talk about the ways in which you hold hope in your heart — and keep on going even when things aren’t going well. Just knowing you have a friend who can hold your hope for you can be enough.