A Sign of Hope

Some Christmas presents cannot be wrapped neatly and placed under the tree.  My husband gave a gift like that to our youngest daughter this year.

I noticed Carrie and her dad huddled in a corner in serious discussion last Christmas.  Later he told me about her request for a special present that would need to be hand crafted.   He agreed to work on it throughout the year and bring it to her in San Diego for this year’s Christmas holiday.

Carrie asked him to make her a sign with the word “hope” in big letters.  He purchased one-half inch exterior plywood, three feet by seven feet and painted it with flat black paint.  He printed the word “hope” in white letters finished with reflective spray.

An Old Idea Made New
Christmastime built a memory that affected our lives over two decades ago when we moved here.  One of our neighbors created a one-word sign, hope, and attached it to their roof.  As our family drove to our home through the switchbacks, the word hope lay suspended in the sky which created a dramatic effect especially after dark.

Year after year, the neighbor displayed the hope sign on his roof.  We didn’t realize how hope imprinted in our minds.  We talked little about it.

Carrie remembered those days and discussed her feelings with her dad.  She longed to duplicate it.  It turned out to be a fun project.

We went to San Diego for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and brought the finished sign.  Hours after we arrived, we mounted the hope sign from the gate in their backyard which faces a canyon!   A busy street runs through the canyon and drivers can’t miss the sign of hope suspended in white letters lit up with an outdoor light for nighttime.

The sentiment she scripted on her Facebook page warmed my heart:

Today we celebrate my dad’s 69th birthday!  After his health scare last year and a long road of recovery, its extra sweet to have him visiting with us during this time of Thanksgiving.  He made me this Christmas present, the best I’ve ever received:  a sign with giant reflective letters with a spotlight.  We hung it on my back gate overlooking a well traveled road.  If only one person feels this loving hope this Christmas season, it will make me so happy.  Thanks, Dad!  We love you!

Long before Jesus came to earth as a baby, Father God gave a sign of His coming.  Spoken through his servant, Isaiah.  He prophesied:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.
Behold, a young woman shall conceive
And bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isa 7:14

I notice in The Christmas Story in Luke how excited the shepherds became when the baby Jesus arrived. 

And the shepherds returned,
Glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen,
As it had been told them.
Luke 2:20

I’m with Carrie; I feel joyful when others find hope.  Jesus is the light of the world.  He came to bring us hope.  Now that’s exciting!


  1. Offhand, I can't think of a better gift!
    That's pretty neat about Carrie remembering the other family's sign over 20 years ago.
    I guess it's true what they say, one never knows what impression he/she is leaving on others. Kinda makes you want to stand up a little straighter, doesn't it?

  2. There is a quote by Hal Lindsey that says, "Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope..." Isn't that true? What a beautiful idea that sister Carrie had thought! To share the Lord's hope to many unsuspecting, hurting people who pass by and see that sign. I pray they see the sign and remind them that there is always hope for the burden they carry. I pray that everyday. For the Lord to give me His compassion, His grace, His mercy and always remind me to be like Him. Because we just never know how much a tiny dose of hope can do to broken hearts we meet somewhere. This is a beautiful post sister Mary. And so are your hearts!!! God bless you and thank you for sharing this message with us.

  3. What a sweet gift your daughter wanted that your husband could make for her. Without hope, we have nothing. I am so thankful we have the hope of our Lord Savior!


  4. What a wonderful gift from your husband to your daughter after being inspired all those many years ago! I think it is a wonderful thing to share this with as many people can see it. Indeed the best gifts that come to us are the ones made with love, from our heart. A very special post my friend!

  5. Oh, how sweet of your husband! I am sure your daughter will cherish that sign for years to come, and who knows how many travelers' hearts it will touch? Perhaps only eternity will reveal the number of lives it will impact. This is so touching to me. Merry Christmas, my friend!

  6. What a wonderful gift your husband gave your daughter and she in turn is giving to others. Love this story!

  7. That is so wonderful Mary and it gave me goose bumps as I could envision the sign overlooking the trafficked road. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story and I appreciate your comments.

  8. Thank you! I'm happy for you re: how many people are reading so many. Bless you...

  9. And stories like this is how our Father continues to remind us and bring us hope. The confidence that He will do what He's promised us.

    That's a wonderful story, the kind that changes more than just the lives of those involved. I can't think of a better gift, Mary.

    Blessings to you and yours this Christmas, sister.

  10. This is the sweetest post and so full of what Christmas is all about....Your daughter will cherish that sign always and be reminded of a love gift from her dad....Merry Christmas Mary...I hope you are blessed beyond measure...

  11. Beautiful, beautiful testimony!
    Love this!!

    All my heart,
    Deborah xo


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