GodReflection: A Secure Grip On Hope.
A strong influence in my life on Dad’s side of the family came from Grandma’s brother, Dr. Owen Puckett. Next to my parents, he was the person I most admired during my formative years in the Chihuahuan Desert. Dr. Puckett was a humble man described by the Current Argus, the local newspaper as “a legend in his time.”
Owen Edward Puckett was born in Izzard County, Arkansas, in August 1875. He began his work in 1904, after receiving a medical degree from the University of Tennessee, as a general practitioner at Fitzhugh, Arkansas, . His rounds made on horseback with medicine in his saddlebags, or in the occasional buggy set the tone for his medical practice, which was always care for his patients and house calls by their bedside.
In 1915, he and five brothers, traveled nine hundred miles southwest to establish the Puckett Ranch in Hope, New Mexico. It must have been a family investment to envision a future for the Puckett boys. In the days when doctors received potatoes and garden vegetables rather than cash for their service; I suspect the dream of sustenance while he practiced medicine must have added sparkle to the eyes of my great uncle for the ranch project. Surely, hope in the future ran high.
The town of Hope and its adjacent valleys were green with vegetation fed by the flow of the Rio Penasco, from New Mexico’s Sacramento Mountains. In a family letter, Dr. Puckett described the rich grasslands of Hope as being “high as a horse’s belly.”
The small town could not have chosen a more descriptive name. Yes, Hope describes not only the area but the dreams of those who migrated there with visions of a better future, an image fueled by hope.
By contrast Paul the apostle identifies hope as one of the big three of Faith, Hope, and Love. Jesus provides these solid handles for our use as his followers. They await our secure grip to assure a firm and successful walk across life.
Had Hope been a township in Judea, perhaps Jesus would have selected it as the subject of one of his parable stories to illustrate the reason for his own presence on earth. He came to bring hope to humanity. Yes, life could be better. Jesus was the key to hope. He brought reason to believe. Hope, like tall green grass presented opportunity for sustenance and a future.
Over the next few posts my intent is to examine anew this word that we water down by our daily usage in the English Language, almost to the point of robbery. How often do we robotically plug hope into a sentence to describe the latest shallow momentary desire?
I invite you to read over my shoulder as together we explore anew the tall green grass of hope as one of God’s richest gifts presented to each of us by Jesus.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Hope’s Tall Green Grass.