A story of hope, faith and charity


Hope … it’s a wonderful four-letter word.  Hope offers possibilities; hope suggests that the good will prevail.  It makes us happy.   It fills us with expansiveness and can make our tight, constricted worlds crack open with a little wiggle room for the good stuff to find its way.  Hope has us looking up.  Hope, especially the big-picture variety, inspires and motivates.  We want to do better, be better.  Hope is potent medicine.

What happens, however, when your personal hope goes MIA and you find yourself hunkered down in a fetal position in the corner, feeling deflated, cranky and uninspired?  How do you refind that channel of expanded possibility?

Have fun.  Be creative.  Play.

You will place yourself in present time and move out (at least temporarily) of the depressive concerns of the past and the anxious worries of the future. You will break open the log jam of your energy field. You will literally lighten up.

This is a good assignment. Had any fun lately?

Also, talk to the relations. 

You see, hope is part of triplet combination. Remember faith and charity?

Faith is active. Faith requires a constancy of attention and belief — be it belief in yourself, belief in whatever process you are involved in or belief in something bigger, sacred and divine. Faith calls for your focus. Faith is the anchor for hope.  If you have faith (in yourself, a process or the divine), hope joins the parade. Finding faith will help you locate hope.

Charity is a lot like water because it is all about flow and the circulation of flow. This reminds me of a story:  A woman, let’s call her Mary, was down to her last few dollars. She could only hold her family together until the end of the month; then they would be up the proverbial creek without paddle, much less food and housing. Her husband worked construction; he had been laid off for quite some time.  Her young adult kids were scraping by as well. Mary was desperate; she had nothing to lose and was willing to take the big risk.

She had $10,000 line of credit left on her credit card. Mary reasoned that if she had the right intention and gave the money away that something would come back to her. After careful deliberation, much prayer and strategizing, Mary, unbeknownst to her husband, took the line of credit and sent out ten unmarked envelopes of $1000 each to people in need. Each envelope contained the same anonymous note about money being a gift to them.

One of the recipients was her son, a local EMT. When he received the money, he dashed over to his mom’s house to share the unbelievable news. He was full of excitement, curiosity and great relief.  The money could not have come at a better time. He needed every penny of it. His sister was visiting his mom as well; she, too, was facing lean times. The son immediately split his money with his sister. Mary told me she was never as proud of her son as she was that day.

Mary never said a word to anyone. Over the coming weeks, she was filled again and again with stories about how the anonymous gifts had generated much conversation and hope. It turned out the ten gifts were parceled out over and over into smaller gifts. Once someone received, they shared a piece of their windfall with another. It was a bit like pie, there were ten pieces but a number of forkfuls, and so many got a taste of the goodness.

At the end of the month, Mary’s husband had an interview for a construction job in another state.  They packed up the truck and headed off, desperately needing the job to become a reality. When they pulled into the housing development, Mary saw the lovely show home, she knew they would be taken care of — and they were. Her husband was offered the job, and they were given free housing in the show home for the next year while the development was being built. Mary believed it all came to be because she literally took her last dollars and gave them away.

Charity is all about flow, flow is all about circulation. And the energy and possibilities inherent in charity, allow hope to flourish and faith to stand tall.

May hope and its relations become permanent guests in your home.

11 Responses to A story of hope, faith and charity

  1. Adele Ryan McDowell September 28, 2020 at 7:49 pm #

    My dear Helen, Always so lovely to hear from you. I know you and yours very much live these lives of faith, hope and charity. Take precious care. I know you’re each making big differences. 💚✨💚

  2. Adele Ryan McDowell September 28, 2020 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh, Mary Jo! You are most welcome. Thanks for all of your love and support! 💖✨💖

  3. Adele Ryan McDowell September 28, 2020 at 7:43 pm #

    Thank you, dear Adrienne, for reaching out across the pond. Thinking of you with much love.

  4. Adele Ryan McDowell September 28, 2020 at 7:41 pm #

    Thank you, dear Marga. A good reminder for me, too. ✨💚✨

  5. Adele Ryan McDowell September 28, 2020 at 7:40 pm #

    Thank you, dear Joey. You are so kind. Thanks for writing. Much love to you. 💚✨💚

  6. Joey Buck September 28, 2020 at 6:27 pm #

    Always uplifted when I read your posts!
    Love you,

  7. Marga September 28, 2020 at 11:02 am #

    I loved the bit about ‘talk to the relations’!
    So easy to overlook.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  8. adrienne September 28, 2020 at 6:44 am #

    Beautifully said

  9. Mary Jo September 27, 2020 at 3:25 pm #

    Very powerful and inspirational! Thanks for the uplifting message today!

  10. Helen Αlexiou September 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm #

    Dear Adele,
    Poignant and wonderful story and yes you give without wanting anything and show faith and charity as yes it may take time but it shall come back to you in various and many ways.
    We try to support so many and the girls are helping with shopping for people and hiring personnel who are avid to work and cannot find anything.
    Many of us are all so fortunate and we must tacitly share. Our Monastery in Maryland devoted two of their homes to COVID. They have saved many souls….
    God Bless YOU helen and family



    […] and wise woman, Adele Ryan McDowell in her blog post on hope < https://adeleandthepenguin.com/a-story-of-hope-faith-and-charity/ > reminds us of the two values traditionally attached to hope. “Also, talk to the […]