The past couple of weeks have been filled with darkness and violence: Muslim families have been targeted all over the world during worship, play and daily living, this week in the USA looking foreign was enough reason to be murdered by a passing motorist. Jewish worshipers were attached in Poway California during Shabot, Shi Lanka suffered Church bombings, as did Black churches here in the USA. April has seen over 97 acts of violence around the globe, from all sides and various religious factions. All of this violence has one thing in common: the belief that their way, their faith, their expression of life is the only way.
St Augustine said “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
I am angry that my Jewish friends face Anti- Semitism daily and fear what each new day will bring. I’m angry that my friends of color are singled out by racism and hate every day. I’m angered by the way we continue to destroy our plant. I’m angry at the housing inequity I see around me. I don’t have answers or solutions. I do have the courage to continue to see, question and seek solutions to the violence.
For me the definition of HOPE rests the belief of a time when love not hate will be the norm. Hope is knowing we are not alone on this journey. It is knowing we have sisters and brothers who cross societal and religious boundaries for the sake of love and equality, who believe in the goodness of all and grieve the darkness that covers the planet. Hope is the light in the darkness.
I believe that relationship is the path to understanding. As we worship and walk our differing faiths together in love, listening and learning about and from each other, our differences and our similarities, hope finds a place to dwell. No matter how we address or worship the creator, we believe there is someone or something who is greater, who creates and loves this world. Who fills us with light and love.
I see hope in my family, the struggles we shed tears over, the laughter we share at gatherings, the love we offer each other. I see hope in my community, in the groups I am part of who truly care about one another and about our neighbors. I see hope lived out daily as we face evil and hate, seeking justice for all. I see hope in dialogue and action. I also see hope in relationship. It is in relationships that true change can take root and blossom.
What is your experience with hope? How do you vision hope? Do you have people who fill you with hope, offering light in the darkness?
I pray to be filled with hope, casting light on those around me, to always be angry for the way things are and to be courageous enough to be the change I seek.