Keeping Hope Alive


Written by the Rev. Bob Pierson, OSB, Chaplain/Director of Campus Ministry, Saint John’s University
from the St. Cloud Times, Sunday, Nov. 9

“My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord.”

These words from the book of Lamentations (3:17-18) describe how some people feel as we mark the first anniversary of the disappearance of Joshua Guimond on November 9, 2002. After a year it’s quite understandable for people to wonder, “Will we ever know what happened to Josh?” It’s also quite understandable that many people, in the realization that we seem to be powerless in our efforts to understand what happened to Josh a year ago, have decided to “move on” with their lives.

And yet for those closest to Josh, “moving on” is next to impossible. How can we possibly give up hope that one day we will find Josh? Even when hope seems so difficult, it is still possible, as the writer of Lamentations reminds us:

“But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; they are renewed every morning, so great is his faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” (3:21-24)

This has been a trying time yet we are deeply grateful to the many people who have supported the efforts to find Josh. While no clues have yet been found to indicate his whereabouts, we can not forget the extraordinary effort put forth by law enforcement professionals, fire departments, military personnel, horse-mounted patrols and the hundreds of volunteers who aided in the search. The prayers and support of the many people in the community throughout the last year have helped us sustain our hope.

Whether you know Josh or not, November 9 may be a day to reflect on the blessings and gifts embodied in loved ones and friends in your life, and perhaps you will mark this occasion by telling them that you feel this way. If you know Josh, know that he is missed. If you do not know Josh, you might reach out to those in our community who do know him. In doing so, you will notice the deep and meaningful imprint Josh has made in their lives.

As we mark this difficult anniversary, please keep in your thoughts and prayers Josh, his family and friends, and those who are trying to keep hope alive.

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Topics: Bob Pierson, Joshua Guimond

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