Posted by: Kara Luker | April 8, 2020


Hi friends. How are you? We are settling into a rhythm with this new, temporary “normal” of having John and Chase home. I’ve been less tempted to saturate myself in the news and am feeling more settled. Hopefully, I’ll soon get the chance to write down some of the posts that have been floating around in my head for a while. For now, here is another assignment from my writing workshop (which is sadly almost over). The topic was triumph. I’m also including an audio recording in case you prefer to listen…

Triumph isn’t always displayed by steadfast feet planted on a mountain top and outstretched hands declaring their victory to the sky; a great feat conquered once and for all. If it were, what hope would belong to others who find their strength failing lifetimes away from the peak they yearn to climb? When the doubts of quivering hearts far overwhelm any hint of confidence in their ability to make it one more step forward upon shaking legs and blistered feet as they tread on unknown terrain?

No, triumph is often found in a crumpled form, no longer able to stand let alone conquer, as the reality of what “is” pelts like freezing rain and violent wind against the expectations of what was “supposed to be.” It is here, in a frailty that always existed but is only now realized, with nothing left to lose and the burdensome armor of bravado finally cast aside, that a dry, cracked mouth whispers, “help.”


It is a word as brave, as humble, as any ever spoken. It holds in its fragile hands a primal fear of being left in the muddy shame of weakness, alone and abandoned. But in those same trembling palms sits a small, piercing hope that someone will hear and though all seems lost, that rescue will come. And so it does. It always does. For the poor, the desperate, the lonely, the broken who dare to utter “help.”

There will be no magical transport to the lofty peaks cloaked in clouds. What joy would there be in that kind of victory? Nor will there be aid to crawl back down the brutal, rocky path in defeat. Instead, still collapsed on the filthy ground that marks the shattering moment of disappointment or failure, comfort comes as the longing soul finds itself no longer alone. Something has floated into the heart, carried by a wind of hope, unseen but deeply felt. A Presence who has come in response to the humble plea for help, bearing with it a tinge of warmth to ease the bracing pain of loneliness and a sliver of light to hold back the darkness. Despair, a moment before consuming all hope, is pushed back a step, as if retreating by force. 

Earthy fragrances rise from the ground, enter the lungs, tickle the senses. Had they been there all along? The crumpled form straightens, lifts a hanging head and downcast eyes, seeing for the first time through the disappointment, beyond the pain to the textured faces of mighty cliffs, the vibrant, water-laden leaves of surrounding trees, the rocky path leading out of sight. The path. It continues. “Could I?,” the soul questions. 

And so the form rises, still weak, still bruised, but now able to stand. A step is taken – slow, unsure, stumbling. Not back down in the direction of known locations but up, to the unknown, to carry on the journey already begun. More steps will follow, some fumbling, some with greater ease than ever before. And more trouble will inevitably arise. But each time it does, recognizing weakness will come more quickly. “Help” will become a triumphant battlecry, forging trust in every instance, bringing strength born of dependence on Someone greater. And so, one day, on the top of the mountain those feet will stand, but the humble soul will know with joy that victory was won long before. 

view from the top

photo by Ani Dimi


  1. I cannot express how much I love the recording! I can really feel what you are expressing through it. Wonderful piece.

    • That is such a compliment, especially coming from you! I was honestly thinking, “I wish I could read like Jimmy does!” Thank you.

  2. Kara, I don’t know if it’s because I know you personally, but I have to say you move me more than any with your writing. Now, I have the privilege of hearing it read by you! I just closed my eyes and soaked up this beautiful picture of hope and triumph that you created. You, my friend have a way with words and I greatly appreciate you sharing them with us! Thank you! ❤️

    • So thankful for you, my friend…. your presence in my life and your encouragement. You are the best! Who would’ve thought I’d find a lifelong Missouri friend in Belize?!

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