I saw the face of hope this morning.
He was standing on the island of a busy street corner in an industrial area. I was cycling past on my way to work. His work boots and his high visibility safety shirt said that he was ready for work but there wasn’t any work for him today.
The string that ran across the back of his neck suspended an old piece of board with a hand painted message asking for work and listing just a little of his work history. A handful of words told me that he had plenty of skills and a wealth of experience but I guess it’s not easy to find a job when you get past a certain age. The lines on his face and his graying hair suggested he’d reached that age.
I’ve been unemployed a couple of times but I’ve never had to stand on a street corner on a cold August morning advertising the fact. Was this a brave move or an act of desperation? Either way I admired his courage.
As I waited for the traffic to clear so that I could continue my journey something beautiful happened.
A van stopped at the lights and a hand reached out from the passenger’s window. The hand offered a business card. I wasn’t close enough to hear the few seconds of rushed conversation but I’m guessing it was about the possibility of employment. The man darted into the middle of the road, quickly grabbed the card, stuffed it into his shirt pocket, and then retreated to the safety of the island as the van drove off.
His previously emotionless face lit up. He pulled the card out of his pocket and gazed at it as if it was the photo of loved ones, family, those most cherished. His smile seemed to light up the dark winter sky. He then shoved the card back into his pocket and continued trying to grab the attention of passing motorists with his sign.
The card he was handed probably wasn’t offering the certainty of work. If it was he wouldn’t have continued to show his sign to everyone who passed. But I’d suggest there was hope in that business card, a glimmer, the possibility of something brighter ahead, and that’s all it took.
I wonder where you’ve seen hope. Have you discovered a glimmer that has helped you move into tomorrow even though you’re not sure what it holds? What has helped you find hope?
If he’s there again tomorrow I’m going to stop and find out a little bit more about his story.
I saw the face of hope this morning and it brightened a busy street corner.
Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. – Charles H. Spurgeon
Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading The Face of Hope? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.