I’ve been watching “Lost” with my son the past couple of weeks. We’re only a few episodes in to Season 1, but that season based on the aftermath of a plane crash on a mysterious island feels eerily familiar to our current situation.
The plane crash itself—while monumental—is only the beginning. Critical needs must be attended to. Food and water need to be found and acquired. There are unexpected monsters lurking in the forest. Distrust rises among the survivors. As does camaraderie and grace.
In one of the scenes of an early episode, some of the survivors try to get a radio transceiver to work in order to communicate with authorities who they believe are searching for them. The determine they must head up to higher ground for the best chance of a clear signal. When they get there and turn on the device, it does in fact receive a transmission, but not one from potential rescuers; it’s coming from somewhere on the island.
What follows is a conversation on what to share with the other survivors. One of them, Sayid Jarrah, tells them not to disclose either the other transmission or the lack of one from rescuers, because it would likely remove any lingering hope. “And hope,” he said, “is a very dangerous thing to lose.”
The other day on the interwebs I saw a picture of a church sign that read: Hope is not canceled.
Yesterday was our fourth consecutive Sunday without physical church gatherings in our building. We’ve completed three weeks of sequestering as a family. I check on the news regularly enough, and it’s pretty grim. People I know have loved ones dealing with Covid-19, and the impact it’s leaving in its wake due to financial realities. The situation we’re living in is dire at best.
But I refuse to lose hope. I will not allow this pandemic to take away any belief I have that someday I will once again enjoy a meal with friends around a dining room table, or go out to see the Red Sox play, or gather with other parents to watch a gymnastics meet or jazz concert, or share in Eucharist with my congregation.
This doesn’t mean that I’m not lamenting during this time because of how meaningless it is. Or ignoring the real and potential life-changing impact this has and will have on my life or on the lives of those I cherish. But I refuse to lose hope.
Outside the daffodils raise their glorious blooms to the sun, and birds drain our feeder in hours. Families pass by our home walking dogs and wave offering cheerful greetings. Clusters of friends have gathered online for afternoon social hours to reconnect and laugh.
Hope is not canceled. It may not appear when we demand it to—it rarely does—but it is not gone.
I’ll spend at least a part of my day today looking for it. Each little glimmer reminding me that fear and death never get the last word.