We’ve been in situations where we desperately need help and hope, and we’ve been on the other side where we’re able to offer that help and hope.
And, sometimes, we can be both in a trying circumstance and still able to offer encouragement to others.
Hopelifter by Kathe Wunnenberg (Zondervan, 2013) shares concrete and creative ways to “spread hope when life hurts.” Kathe has endured numerous hurtful circumstances herself and has invaluable experience in helping others through hurt. Kathe defines “hopelifting” as “for anyone who wants to make a difference in hurting lives and spread the hope and comfort of God through creative compassion” (p. 18).
Parts 1 and 2 of this book discuss what hope is, where to find it, why we need it, and why we can give it in twelve chapters. Hope can be found in a person, place, possession, or connection, and we can use creativity to feed others through all these ways. Kathe uses personal testimony and others’ stories to share examples of sharing and receiving hope. She offers reasonable thoughts and encouragement focused on God as the source of all hope.
Part 3 gives 100 “recipes of hope” to help specific needs (like loss of a pet, transitions, stroke, miscarriage, and more). These ideas are arranged in one-page categories listed alphabetically. Written by other contributors, each tells a story of that type of event (like addiction, adoption, loss, new job, etc.), and then offers practical ways to spread hope. Some suggestions were similar (pray for them and point them to Christ), but others included those foundational acts along with very practical, specific ideas. Many of these ideas help encourages us to serve when we’re not sure exactly how to help.
Kathe says to be a hopelifter, “all you need is a willing heart and ready hands and feet” (p. 24), and she shows that throughout this book. This book inspires me to act on my ideas of serving others and spread hope as often as I can in very specific ways.
What kind of situation do you want to know how to help someone? How have you received help and hope when life hurt?
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.