The year ended and began with many mixed feelings. Finding out that a family member’s cancer has returned, and that two of my first cousins have lost their spouses… I had just gotten an email from one of them a couple weeks ago… and suddenly her name has to be deleted from list of contacts?

I ache for my family members and their terrible loss of health, loved ones, and the pain they must walk through. Some other things recently happened to me as well, stirring up old grief and sorrow.

In the midst of this, on New Year’s Eve I went to a trombone concert. As I listened, I recalled a picture of my father in a suit with his trombone, getting ready for a concert of his own. Transported, I listened to trombonist play a broad range from classical to modern to rag time. I’d forgotten how moving the sound of a sliding note can be. I found myself picturing the chaos of Haifa’s roads on New Year’s eve, and laughing as the sounds could only be portraying a cat and mouse chase of Tom and Jerry proportions, all in the tone of notes tugging at my heart and memories.

After the concert there were refreshments and a time when everyone could visit with each other and just relax, before going home. I navigated the already crowded roads and streets that were being closed off for pedestrians, and visited my Chinese friends, wished them a happy New Year, and then headed home. Alone, I wasted too much time on a computer game, and then started straightening up in the kitchen.

A little before midnight the sound of fireworks and the honking blasts from nearby ships announced the impending New Year and reminded me of the trombone’s laughing imitation of the world’s chaos. Happy New Year?

In the midst of loss, pain, and judgment, Jeremiah says:

21 This I recall to my mind,Therefore I have hope.
22 The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23

May these verses be an anchor for our hearts whatever situation we are in. Therefore we have hope!