Hope doesn’t disappoint.
I had the privilege of being in conversation earlier today with someone whose “given up on church” but not spirituality. He was impressed with the fact that despite the circumstances we are all facing, “engagement” as a church/community of faith and our commitment to serving others is our top priority. It was exciting and frankly, refreshing amidst all the bad news we hear and face, to be able to share some positive things.
I then shared with him some hopeful news I read earlier today.
Johnson and Johnson announced this morning they have a lead vaccine candidate for COVID-19, a landmark new partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and a commitment to supply one billion vaccines worldwide for emergency pandemic use. I personally found that news to be inspiring and hopeful.
“Well, it will still be a year before the vaccine is ready for use.”
I replied that I knew that, but it was still GOOD news!
Frankly, even hours later, I’m still perplexed by his response.
“Why focus on hope? I don’t see a point, really. I just try to think about the bad that can happen and adjust to that, then if something good comes along, I am surprised. There’s really no place for hope.”
I shared that I guess he/I would just have to agree to see the world a little differently. The world that I am a part of, it has to be one of hope. There is hope in all things, even the darkest ones.
No, we are not impervious to suffering.
In fact, as Friar Richard Rohr writes,
“In this time of suffering, we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to do with our pain?
Are we going to blame others for it?
Are we going to try to fix it?
No one lives on this earth without it.
Pain is a great teacher, although none of us want to admit it.”
We CAN transform our pain instead of transmitting it to one another.
We can allow our pain and suffering to teach us, to make us stronger, wiser, more in tune with one another and more at one with the Great Love that abounds in and for each of us.
We can allow ourselves to be people of hope.
But we have to be willing to see .
In just a few hours, we will begin our month of “stay at home” order.
I challenge us over the next 30 days to be a people of hope.
Maybe I am silly or naive. But I just think if we will try to remember that hope is always ours for the claiming, maybe things can have silver linings, even when they are the darkest of things.
I invite you to join me in this 30-day challenge:
“30 Days of Hope”
Each evening take 5 minutes to jot down these three things:
God, Universe, whatever you refer to God as . . . “God, help me ________________”.
“I am so thankful for _____________.”
“WOW! This, _________________, was/is such a WOW! in my life.”
I am determined if we will meditate on these three things, “Help! Thanks! Wow!” we will move through these 30 days as a people of hope.
Will you join me?
“We[d] also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
Grace and Peace,