A Story of Hope

0 Raconteur No Comments

We don’t tamper with Scripture. When it says at I Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, love these three, but the greatest of these is love.” That’s the truth.

I recently learned about a little girl in Charlotte, North Carolina whose name was Hope; Hope Stout. She was twelve years old and terminally ill. The Make-A-Wish Foundation went to her bedside and said, “Hope, if you could have any wish, any wish at all, what would it be?” Hope answered, curiously, “Well, why do you ask?”

“Well,” the exec said, “We’re the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and this is what we do. We go around to visit children like yourself and try to make their last days happy.”

“That’s nice.” Hope Stout was still curious. She asked, “Well, about how many kids are in the same fix as me?”

“Well, at last count,” said the exec, “In North Carolina, there are about 188 kids in your situation.”

Hope didn’t hesitate, after glancing at her mom and dad, who had brought the tall gentleman to her bedside, “Well… my wish is that each of those kids gets their wish.” The exec was a little startled at the un-childlike and unselfish answer. “How much do think that will cost?” Hope said.

“Well,” said the man, rather comfortably, “I’d say about a million dollars.”

Hope looking at her parents with an innocent smile replied, “Well… you’d better get busy.”

The tall, seasoned exec left the room appearing a little dazed by the lucid candor of a twelve year old, but definitely inspired just the same. He delivered the idea to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they set out to mount a fundraiser to achieve the objective: a million dollars and a collective and simultaneous gift of wishes. Inadvertently, they would be making as many families happy as they might make children. Moreover, all at once! Creating such a great vibration might well do a lot more healing than all the doctors and clinics in the world today.

Six months later, on January 14, the fundraiser hit the floor in a great and grande downtown venue, with a smokin’ hot band, and enough donated food and first class chefs to feed the army of King Solomon.

They raised $1.2 million dollars. On January 4th, ten days earlier, and we remember and shall never forget because its my best friend’s birthday, Hope Stout died. Seems sad that she never got to see, or hear tell, of her vision coming to pass, but the power of her personality and the grandeur of her vision for her friends unknown fueled the marketing in the final days to fever pitch to meet the goal. Hope asked. God delivered. We witnessed.

The next year, they used the same model, did the same thing except they raised $1.5 million dollars. All the advertising execs, meeting and conference planners, and marketing gurus could barely have done as well.

It has inspired the whole organization and scores of others to re-think “What is actually possible?” Even Nike borrowed God’s promise with its campaign “Impossible is nothing.”

It has inspired a pair of film-makers to go to work and create a new movie called, “Not Without Hope.” And, in that moment, it inspired me to remember the most wonderful Serenity Prayer:

O God, Grant me…

The serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

The courage to change the things I can… and

The wisdom to know the difference.

So, we don’t tamper with the Scriptures. But, now, sometimes I feel these words in my throat: “Abide now in these three – Faith, Hope, and Love; and the greatest of these is Hope.”

May God bless you and keep you. Amen.

Michael “Chappie” Grice

Adapted from a true story as told by Mike Rutherford

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *