On a trip to Charleston, South Carolina a few summers back, we stepped into a cool little antique shop. You know, the kind of place that is so high end that you instantly discover you have no right to even make direct eye contact with any of the furniture, much less look at the price tag and pretend you aren’t calculating how many months’ worth of mortgage that armoire would set you back. But it’s too late now, because you are already inside, and the awkwardness of having the shop owner look upon you with disgust is slightly better than immediately admitting defeat, apologizing for the mistake and backing out the door. Yeah. That kind of place.
At the front of the shop sat a sculpture that caught my eye. It was a young man with a bag of seeds slung over his shoulder. His arm was stretched out and reaching back, as if he were sowing the seeds, flinging them out over the soil. On the base was an inscription: FAC ET SPERA.
The shop owner saw me eyeing the piece and walked over. Surprisingly, she didn’t ask me to leave. Instead, she smiled and warmly explained, “Work and Hope.”
FAC ET SPERA: Work and Hope. What a fitting inscription. The seed is sown and watered by the sweat of the planter’s brow. But the harvest is out of our hands.