Faith and hope; they go together but they’re not the same thing. In today’s post, Patsy helps us understand the difference.

Our behavior is indicative of our faith.

Uh, oh.

I mean some days I do well…but then there are days when my potatoes fall off my wagon, if you know what I mean. In an instant, I will say something spiteful or cheeky before I can stitch my lips shut with a prayer. And I’m no spring chicken at this faith stuff; I’ve been keeping company with Jesus for decades. I know better. I went to Sunday School as a child where I was visually taught—with flannel graphs—the kindness of Christ, his hospitable heart, and his grace filled words. And once you’ve been flanneled you have no excuse for being deliberately ornery.

Gratefully, Christ knew the depth of human depravity, and he knew it couldn’t be covered with a flimsy cloth, so he made grace space at Calvary with his shed blood for our sin. He doesn’t search for us with a ruler of perfection, but he sees us through his grid of mercy. That’s why God’s mercy is new every day…he knew we’d need fresh supplies.

I live in a house with six other people. Two teenagers, four adults, and me. Oh, and an appetite driven dog. You can imagine the supplies it takes to keep things up and running for this crew. We try to build up reserves of the most used items…ahem…tissues of all types, detergent, snacks, and so on. We even phone-share a grocery list app so whoever is running errands can pick up items we need. Yet still we can go to a drawer, closet, or pantry and the cupboard is bare of an essential. Like chocolate. However, Christ’s supply of grace, love, mercy are inexhaustible, which gives us needy folks hope. No matter how often we visit the Lord’s storehouse, there’s always exceedingly more.

Faith is inexplicably woven with the cord of hope.

This blog began on a tablet in my mind at the outpatient clinic two days ago as I waited for my hubby to come out of eye surgery. We’d been this route before at this same clinic so I was familiar with the routine. An hour and a half later Les was ready to go home.  His eye was bandaged closed and we wouldn’t know his visual losses or restoration for weeks. Today he sees through a dark veil and he sees double. In the coming weeks we are hoping the veil is lifted and his focus becomes defined. Because we hope doesn’t mean it will happen. Faith is trusting not in what we want, but in what God, the author and finisher of our faith, is writing into our story. God wants us to tell him what we hope for and he also wants us to trust his final decisions.

That’s not always easy . . . but it is how faith grows.

P.S.  How does one say “heartbroken?” Florida, America, and the world is saddened and left raw by the massacre in Orlando. God is all about love, acceptance, and grace while this act is about hatred, prejudice, and persecution. What would drive an individual to lose his heart, compassion, and regard for human life?

Pain? Despair? Anger? Mental illness?

His ex-wife said he was abusive, the FBI said he was suspicious, and yet somehow he was deemed qualified to have assault weapons. And now 50 people are dead. No one could have predicted that.

Our God grieves at the actions of misdirected and deluded people. So what then shall we do?

I believe our call is to be light bearers in this dark time. Those who love, forgive, and extend compassion to a hurting world. Those who by our actions and our love lead others to peace and reconciliation. Those who don’t prize their opinion or political position above the love of Christ for humanity…but at all costs proclaim healing to a world that desperately needs hope.

Light a candle, say a prayer, and live out mercy in Jesus’ name.