When It's Hard to Find Hope in the Rubble

Originally published Friday, 26 September 2014.


Today I am *so* thrilled to introduce you to my very own sister, Sarah Baar!





First of all, it must be said that she’s the real writer in the family.  As in, she’s written like five or six novels in thirty days each.


Yeah, she’s one of those.


But I still love her.


A lot.


Like, more than chocolate and ice cream.


(That’s a lot.)


I could go on and on about how wonderful she is, but today I think I’ll just let her writing speak for itself.


So without further ado, a guest post by my beloved seesta, Sarah Baar:




On the thirteenth anniversary of the September 11 attack, my friend Rob gave me a poem called Searchers, by D. Nurkse. Rob shared the inspiration behind the poem and at the same time stirred a profound spiritual moment for me.


The poem relates the stories of the search and rescue dogs who worked at the World Trade Center in the days following their collapse.


The dogs had one job: to identify remains. Bring peace to families. Find answers.


Except, their pursuit proved near-impossible.



Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack, Flickr Creative Commons



Day after day the dogs would utilize their expert training to look for a person. Sniff a personal item belonging to the victim and take off. But day after day, the dogs came up empty.


In the millions of pounds of rubble and debris, they couldn’t find what they were looking for. They became depressed and disinterested in the search.



Photo Credit: Loco Steve, Flickr Creative Commons



The solution: volunteers hid in the rubble, crouching down out of sight, and let the dogs find them. The dogs would sniff a personal item belonging to the volunteer, take off, and find what they were looking for.


A joyful discovery.


“Here you are! I found you! It was *you* I was looking for!”


And they would carry on.


Immediately, a swell of pride for those search and rescue dogs made me catch my breath.


My husband and I recently adopted a dog, and we would do anything for him (yes, we’re *those* puppy parents who call each other mom and dad for our dog).


We would hide for him just to cheer him up because he is near and dear to our hearts. Yet Rob reminded me what humility those volunteers must have experienced, climbing into tragedy to keep hope alive—for a group of dogs.


As I read the poem, and the meaning sunk in, I realized how deeply I felt the poem. For me, it became not just verse about humanity and pride and dignity, but a message of our desire for our heavenly home, and of a God who crouches down to reveal himself to us.


We search daily for something we cannot fully fathom. We can only imagine the kingdom God has prepared for us. But in the weight and wreckage of everyday life, we often become discouraged.


We lose hope.


Until God brings mercy, kneels behind a hunk of concrete, gives us a freebie.


“Here I am! You’ve found me! It was *me* you were looking for!”


It might be a flower growing through a crack in the concrete. An encouraging message from a friend on a bad day. A relaxing walk on the beach in the middle of a busy week. Moments in your life where you open your eyes and your heart and see just a small piece of the miracle of God.


A reason to carry on.


While we will never find what we’re looking for here on earth, God makes himself known.


Gives us a peek into his limitless love. A freebie.


A reason to hope.




Sarah Baar lives and writes in Holland, Michigan.