Do you recognize the picture on the left? You may have a vague recollection of it from your college humanities or fine arts course. It’s called Hope by Victorian era British artist George Frederick Watts. I know what you’re thinking. The painting appears to depict anything but hope, right?
In Hope we see a woman playing a harp while sitting on top of the world. To me, the world seems dark and depressing, perhaps suffering under the weight of war, corruption, and violence. The harpist is dressed in rags, her head is bandaged, and there are lacerations on her face, arms and legs. Perhaps she has just risen from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the recent Tsunami in Japan. I can imagine her harp, once an instrument of magnificent beauty where she created music that stirred the soul. But now, missing all but one string, the harp is merely a scrap of its former self. It’s a distressing scene, yet the artist chose to call the painting Hope. Why?
I have had times in my life where I felt like the lady in the picture looks; lost, alone and filled with despair. But I believe, no matter what things look like, as long as you have just one string left, you can still play one more song, strike one more tune, and strum one more note. In a world where we experience heartbreak, setback and disappointment of every kind, it’s important to remember that there is always hope. Whatever trials may be on the painting of your life today play the one string you have left and the world will pour out her resources to you.
A fresh, new perspective on an old situation can make your entire world brand new again.