Hope is building a house that she imagines will be a home.

She didn’t plan to build, there was the hope that maybe she could inherit the family home, the one that’s been passed down through generations.

But the thing is…the home is older and wearier and rotting out. There are deep cracks in the foundation, the kind that make the house lean into the dusty earth a little more each day. Really, it’s not even a house anymore, just some hollowed out and ancient ruins on a lonely ground.

There’s sorrow here. Hope feels it burning through her hands as she runs them along the battered stones. There’s anger here, too. Maybe you feel it. I do.

As we move into this new year and decade, your anger is welcome. These ruins are here but we can see them, glory to God. It’s okay to weep with Hope as we tear down something that might have been beautiful in its time. This is dangerous work, it’s gonna make our hands bleed and our feet ache. But it’s good work, the kind of work for the courageous and desperate ones. It’s work for those of us who are done with putting up with, those of us who are cold and wet from living in old homes where the rain gets in the cracks and the foundations tremble when the thunder comes. It’s for those of us who have a fire burning in our bones that no longer lets us remain silent or cry peace when there is none to be found. It’s for those of us who long to dance on the ancient ruins and play in the broken places because really, we’re just little ones looking for home.

Hope can remind us that within the grains of these old walls, there is the possibility for something new.

If Emmanuel dwells within the broken places, then here is where we can make a home. We can plant a garden. We can root our bare toes into this soil, and tend to baby trees. We can join together with the friends of Hope to build communities where our children can play in the streets. We’ll sit on our doorsteps with our lovers and wine and say this is home, this is home, this is home.