Harper and I have been working on a small Christmas craft, to give to teachers and grandparents (Sorry, Grandparents, to ruin the surprise). I do this sort of thing approximately once a year, so don’t get any ideas about what a crafty mom I am, but we had fun.

I wasn’t sure what we were going to make when we started out, but we ended up with a wall-hanging of sorts, which has four cards strung together, each with a word painted on it: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love — the words that help us mark time through Advent. We were making several of these, so there were piles of each word stacked around us as we assembled them yesterday afternoon. But when we had strung most of them together, we realized we were didn’t have enough: we had peace, love, and joy, but we were missing two “hope” cards.

“Mama!” Harper said when she realized, “There’s no more hope!”

Isn’t that the truth, I thought, thinking about Newtwon, and climate change, and the fact that there aren’t enough shelters in Guilford county to house all the homeless families. But she didn’t need to be burdened with all that, so we decided that it would be just fine if the last two crafts just said Peace, Joy, Love.

We finished it up and I took the finished projects into the kitchen while she cleaned up the living room floor. I heard her excited feet running toward me before I saw what she had in her hands: the missing cards.

“Look, Mom! Hope!”

They were there all along; we just hadn’t looked hard enough.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. I have repeated that to myself over and over and over in the last three days.

The darkness did not overcome it.