In this simple activity, we invite hope in. We give it careful attention so that it can grow in our lives. Armed with a camera (or paintbrush or even sewing tools), we use creative imagery to nurture the life-sustaining flame of hope.
This is a simple way to make a space for hope, and to nourish it when it appears. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t feeling hope right now – you can still ask it in, and make room for it. And then just wait – don’t try to force it or make it happen. Like a butterfly that alights on you when you sit in stillness, hope will come.
Take a few moments to sit quietly and imagine what hope might look like. Using your imagination, flesh out its physical characteristics. If you have difficulty picturing it, you can use these prompts…
A bold yellow, a gentle white? A shining, glorious gold, or maybe the fresh green of new shoots?
What is its size?
Is it small and humble, or maybe grand and glorious?
Quiet? Loud? Maybe like a babbling brook, providing a continuous undercurrent to your life.
Is it hard like a rock, or soft and fragile, easily broken?
so you can sense its presence even before you see it?
Insistent? Hesitant? Calling you to action, or gently comforting you?
Would it come knocking at your door, or would you need to go searching for it? Is it located somewhere in your body? In the night sky? In the world around you? In the face of someone you love?
Now make what you have sensed intuitively about hope into something tangible. Take up your camera, and find an image that captures something of what you have imagined. You don’t need to be able to explain it, even to yourself. If it catches your eye, that’s enough. You might find one image, or if you have a few, you might like to make them into a collage, either online or by printing them out. Add any other things that you see fit. Or get out your paints and draw your image – it may be even just colours or shapes on the page. If you are a sewer, or quilter, depict your image that way.
The end result is for you alone, so the aim is not artistic perfection – it’s about having a tangible expression of the mystery that is hope. Put it somewhere you can see it, or (even better) take it out and look at it for a few minutes each day, and quietly allow its message of hope to seep into your soul.