Recently, I attended a training on assisting individuals in crisis. The instructor shared a story of a family who lost their home in a fire. As the husband and wife stared at the pile of ashes, the husband kept saying, “I’ve lost everything”. His wife responded by saying, “You have not lost everything… its just stuff.” They both repeated this conversation several times. The crisis response chaplain recognized the man’s sense of hopelessness. The man said when he moved there all that stood were trees. He had cut down the trees. He cut the wood and gathered the stones to build the house. He had built everything by hand.
The man’s wife picked up a photo book. As they looked through the pictures they saw pictures of the house being built. They saw pictures from holidays celebrated in the house. The flipped through memory after memory of a life lived in the house now in ashes.
As they flipped through the pictures the chaplain prayed quietly for a blank page. As they reached the last page of pictures… they turned the page to reveal a blank page. The chaplain felt relief seeing a blank page. The chaplain said, “I can’t wait to to see the new pictures that fill this page.” The man looked up and said, “Well, I can build a new house.”
The blank page gave him the hope he needed to make it another day.
When all hope feels lost pause… and think of ways you can fill the blank pages of tomorrow.