Respair: The return of hope after a period of despair.
I just love receiving gifts; who doesn’t? I have a friend I have carpooled with for over five years. Two “50-something” health care professionals, we have much in common. I am a Registered Nurse, while she works as a Chief Dental Officer. We make the nearly two hour long round trip drive along the Pacific coast at least once a week in each other’s company as we travel to the Native American clinic that employs us both. While neither of us can be considered particularly easy-going, it is a near perfect partnership. We feel free to cancel at the last moment or ask to leave early, stay late, or stop at a yard sale.
Sometimes she buys me a coffee; sometimes I bring her a homemade bar of soap. But there are other gifts that nourish our friendship, and that is the gift of words and the blessing of rich conversation. A true conversationalist is a rare find these days and something to celebrate.
The other day she had a gift for me that couldn’t wait—she sent it to me via email and the gift was the word “respair.” I wanted to give this beautiful gift credence. I wanted to honor the word for the offering that it was. I enjoyed it, relishing the sound of it as I spoke it out loud. I could have “respair” as a noun, I could also “respair” as a verb and actually have hope once again. So much potential.
In order to experience true respair, one must first of course experience despair, and we have done just that. The sorrows we have seen and experienced are too numerous to mention. We do discuss them, but not as often anymore. Although it isn’t easy, we have made a conscious decision to focus on hope.
“Hope is a waking dream”— Aristotle
As I begin the last year of my 50s and stare 60 square in the face, I claim respair as my own. It is more than a word to me, it is “me”. I am in need of fresh hope and I want to be fresh hope. After spending the last two years plus as an aging nurse during a pandemic, I accept the gift of respair in the spirit of true gratitude.
Let’s celebrate this fresh new hope! Let us claim it, act in it, and become it. Hold on to hope as you first care for yourself and then others.
Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold fast to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.