A few days before my grandfather died of brain cancer, he made me make him a promise: “Becksa, promise me you’ll tell people that they are not alone. Promise me you’ll keep telling people the Good News.”
With tears rolling down my face, I looked my beloved Boppy in the eyes, and with commitment I could feel in every part of my body, I promised him I would.
I cannot count the number of times I have replayed this conversation between the two of us in the last two years since it took place. I roll the words over and over again in my mind and savor them in my heart. I recall the memory of what it felt like to have my grandfather lovingly gaze at me and understand what mattered to me at my core. I cherish the bond that we had, not only as grandfather and granddaughter, but also as two kindred souls who knew what it was like to be loved by God.
He knew in those last moments of his life what I now understand better than I ever did what it was like to discover the promises of God. His understanding of the promises grew in him through the lived experience of 84 years of a life full of joys and sorrows, weaved together with the stitches of his journey of faith. Life, prayer, and his community experience of faith taught Boppy that there were some things in life that were unchangeable and that served as firm foundations upon which to build our lives. While my life experience is less than half of what his was, I, too, know—through life’s journey, my own time in my inner chapel in prayer, and my lived communal experience of faith—that the promises of God anchor our hope.
If I were asked, “Why do you have hope?” my immediate reply would be because I know that I am not alone. God is with me. God is within each one of us, always residing in that sacred space within us, the inner chapel. By visiting the inner chapel every day, I discovered I am not going to an empty silence but to the quiet to be with the One I belong to, who loves me unconditionally, who offers me rest and mercy, and who is a companion to whatever I am facing in life.
The promises of God are available to all of us. They are there for us to discover as we go to our inner chapels daily, as we live life, and as we engage in our communal aspects of faith. These promises tell us:
- We are never alone.
- We belong to someone.
- We are unconditionally loved.
- We are fully seen and offered mercy.
- We have a companion in our suffering.
- We have a unique call.
Knowing the Good News of our faith and the promises of God in the way my grandfather understood them—the way I understand them—changes our lives and sends us forth to become heralds of hope. I invite you not only to embrace the promises of God in your life, but also to join me in generously sharing this Good News with those who need it!