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Bless our God, you peoples; let the sound of praise be heard. Psalm 66:8 

Do you like to play Scrabble? Scrambling the tiles to make words on the board is a fun, challenging, and sometimes frustrating game! But this is a different kind of Scrabble board. It’s a wall display at a local hospital. I have walked down this hall many times making hospital visits, but I’ve never noticed it with my head down navigating the maze of hallways. But this time I looked up and outside of myself. As I was taking pictures another visitor stopped and asked me what I was doing. I pointed out the wall art which brought an exclamation of joy and soon he was taking a picture of hope in the hospital to share as well. 

In the hospital that day I had a touching visit with a very sick person and their suffering family. Yet there was a lot of love in the room and prayer gave strength and encouragement. Just like that Scrabble wall art. It’s a much-needed reminder of hope in a place that sees much sickness, suffering, and death. Martin Luther called the church a “hospital for sinners.” There's a lot of hope in this hospital! Our faith in God’s grace that heals our hurts sends us out to share hope, love and encouragement with our hurting world. If we look up and ground ourselves in faith, we can encourage and be encouraged. We can still smile, dream, and hope, inspired by the constant love of Christ in the highs and lows of our lives.  

As Psalm 66 reminds us, our sounds of praise for God’s love can rise even in the midst of challenge. We bless God when we love, grow, and inspire others to follow Jesus. Be encouraged. Even in the midst of great despair, there are still great signs of hope to share. Just look up! 

Praise God, Pastor Andrea