Bad news on the doorstep, every day. The Syrian peace talks are a shambles. Gun violence continues to take innocent lives. My very talented and thoughtful friend is still unemployed, after a year of diligent searching for work. My eleven year old daughter already asks, “How can I promise to live by the Girl Scout law, when the world is such a hard place?”
This is a question too weighty to answer in a blog posting. But I think one piece of the answer lies in attending to particulars. I can offer hope and be offered hope in real relationships and by paying attention to what is at hand. Jesus modeled this really well. The hope he modeled attended to particular people: the woman at the well, two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Lazarus, and the bride and groom who invited him to their wedding but didn’t plan well for the reception. Jesus also told others to share good news. What did you see here? Go tell people.
My friend Julie heard about some neighbors going out of their way to help someone in need. She called a TV station to “share the good news,” and they told the story to all of Boston. You can see it here.
Retired Bishop of Alaska Steve Charleston recently shared this thought about hope on Facebook. I’ve been pondering it all week, and I pass it along here for you to ponder with me. Let me know if it changes your perspective or inspires you to action.
We hope for things unseen, but I also think we hope for things in plain sight. I hope for my family, for friends that I know are facing difficult times, for the community in which I live, for the corner of this Earth that I call home. My hope is rooted. It is grounded in reality. I hope for what I can touch and feel, what I share in every day, what I see in the eyes of others. Hope is what we have when we have little more. It has to be seen. It has to be tangible. So yes, I do hope long distance, but I also hope up close and personal, hope so near to me I never lose sight of it.