Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Scent of hope

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

And now, what is my hope?
O Lord, my hope is in you.
Psalm 39:8

I set the onions to simmer and their pungent aroma begins to fill the kitchen. What is it, I wonder, about the smell of sautéing onions that is so satisfying? Their tang brings to mind warmth and comfort and the gratifying familiarity of the family gathered around the table to enjoy a meal. Taking my time, I add chopped carrots and marjoram and thyme, the mixture on its way to becoming lentil soup for a cold winter night.

I marvel that a simple smell can contain the essence of hope. At times, it is difficult to believe or remember the impact of small gestures. Yet I know the uplifting of being on the receiving end of a gentle word, a moment of listening, a burst of laughter. Small acts of hope can carry us through. They are icons of the One in whose hands our souls are held.

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