It’s time (especially with Omicron at the gates) to replace fear with hope and get out (electronically or actually) among those who feel anxious with a friendly word or a selfless offer. Chances are you’ll be alleviating the mental health crisis of our time and maybe you’ll get something in return. But reward or validation is not the aim. [More … click on title]
Advent is a good time to remember that the Bible we read is not a peaceful read. It is a text borne of trauma, displacement, and loss. The ancient writers who penned sacred scripture — and the vast majority of characters who populate its pages — were not, by and large, history’s winners. They were the persecuted. The dislocated. The enslaved. The desperate. They lived through periods of famine, war, plague, and natural disaster. They suffered starvation, violence, barrenness, captivity, exile, colonization, and genocide. They were, in countless ways, the wretched of the earth. Brave, lonely voices, crying in the desert.
Hope lifts one’s view from hints of despair. Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl wrote that Jewish inmates of concentration camps who retained hope stood a far better chance of survival than those who didn’t. Hope drives the student in an important exam; Hope sustains the frail patient going into a risky operation, and the woman undergoing yet another in vitro treatment; Hope attends the sailor making her way in fog; forlorn Hope drove the rebels in Les Miserables, and Hope hoists all other uprisings; Hope makes a man stand up again, who has fallen down many times.
Hope is the subject of a well known painting ….