“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” – Nelson Mandela
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
To whom or what do you look for hope?
Friends? I am fortunate and blessed to have the love, support and encouragement of remarkable women friends …
… one recently had successful hip surgery. She never gave up hope that she would one day walk normally even after the procedure was indeterminately delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
… several others are facing challenging health issues. Each unequivocally believes she will come through whole and healthy.
… others who are grieving the loss of a parent with grace and dignity during the pandemic. I cannot imagine how much more difficult this crisis may make their mourning.
… another who sends me messages for on-line classes to encourage me in my writing and in my journey as a woman.
Nature? Since Easter, Creation and Her bounty fill my heart …
… watching the Jenny Wren gather sticks as she builds her nest in the Wren box outside my kitchen window.
… laughing at the Common Grackles bathe in the bird bath in our yard. The way they splash water all over the place is hilarious!
… watering my 15 sunflower plants! Each plant is only about three to four inches tall and yet already following the sun across the sky.
The myriad of scientists, physicians, and researchers working on a vaccine for Covid-19 gives me hope. The global peaceful protestors give me hope. The Black Lives Matter organization gives me hope. Within these dark and desperate times, the Light of Goodness still shines.
My pastor frequently uses illustrations, book passages and quotes from authors to enhance his messages. Whenever he mentions a writer, I generally investigate him or her on-line, and more often than not, purchase a book by said author. Needless to say, I have a stack of books by my bedside I eagerly anticipate reading.
One such author he routinely recites is biblical scholar N.T. Wright. I am making my way through his book Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church—which I highly recommend and which has given me cause for great hope.
In it he writes:
“… the gospel of Jesus Christ announces that what God did for Jesus at Easter he will do not only for all those who are ‘in Christ’ but also for the entire cosmos. It will be an act of new creation, parallel to and derived from the act of new creation when God raised Jesus from the dead.”
Later he says:
“ Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Christ honored in the world—all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. This is the logic of the mission of God.”
Regardless of whether you agree or not with any or all of what is quoted above—engaging in conversation as God’s beloved children around such, would make me hopeful.
I will close with a poem by Hafiz.
TRIPPING OVER JOY
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
― Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy
I surrender … to hope.