Holding Hope

A few weeks ago, I ended my post with a question: Can I hold hope?

I’m not sure I have an answer, but I’ve got a few more thoughts.
————

I’m not a particularly graceful person.
I’m clunky. I’m a little oddly-shaped. I’m slightly awkward. My feet turn inward.
I stumble, misstep, drop, falter, and stutter.

I’m not revealing some deep, underlying anthropological reality; I’m just telling you about my physical self. I’m not exactly the poster boy for sure hands.

The Hope Diamond

Hope…is fragile. It’s delicate. Pristine. Flawless. Pure.
That I would be let anywhere near something this precious is, frankly, irresponsible.

I’ve been thinking about hope a lot recently. Especially in the face of every news story from every outlet on the planet in this day and age, hope seems more distant than ever.
It seems that hope is the furthest this from our lips and minds and hearts. We would much rather call for division, dichotomies, and disunity. The calls for mass extermination come daily. The disregard for all life is terrifying. As one popular meme states, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”Idontwanttoliveonthisplanetanymore

I received a card from a dear friend recently. Inside the card was a gift, part of a tabletop calendar that reads: “Hope is Only the Love of Life”
Not only did this card and gift make me grin widely, it also brought a few tears of relief to my eyes. Both the message and the gesture lifted a great, pressing weight off of my shoulders. It was as if I was seeing anew a known reality that had been clouded by vitriol, ugliness, and fear.

It’s true, isn’t it? Hope is nothing more than the fervently-held notion that life is valuable and every. single. person. has a sacred right to life.

Maybe hope isn’t so delicate after all. Maybe when we recognize hope for the absolute radical wrecking force that it is instead of a fragile shard that can’t possibly be held by our shaking hands, we set hope loose on the world to get down to the business of transformation. And that’s a tough question, I think… Do we trust that hope can hold its own in the world? Do we truly believe that hope is more durable than the destructive forces in our world?

What doesn’t get lost on me is my role in all of this. It’s a nice idea to think that if I just hope enough, or care enough, or smile enough, that all the world’s ills will be made well. It makes for a cute Hallmark card…it’s not so realistic.
No, if I really trust that these things are true, it becomes a lived reality. It’s incarnational. I must embody it.

I posted a picture of the gift I received to my profile with the caption, ‘Let your life be love.’
It’s a little cheesy, but I think it’s true. Love begets hope. Love bears all things. Endures all things.

I hold hope, oftentimes tenuously, because the reality splashed all over the front pages and 6 o’clock reports seems such a far cry from hope. But if a stumbling klutz like myself can bring myself to do it, maybe there’s hope for all of us.

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