Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On the Journey Towards Hope

This was the Weekly reflection from the ever- wonderful Henri Nouwen Society: the it's by Rabbi Albert M Lewis.
As more than one person I care about could probabaly do with an extra injection of hope right now, I'm posting it intact. When you're feeling that life's not great, following links hither and yon is probably just too much like hard work.

The journey towards hope is a deliberate and difficult decision, especially if hope is not a common part of our life and vision. The extreme opposite of hope is despair, and the middle ground is indecision or ambivalence. Ambivalence prevents us from seeing the mystery and hearing the music of life; all is gray, and sameness surrounds us. Despair causes us to see and feel everything in consistently blotted blocks of black. Hope, the consciously conceived child of the desire for more, is parented by the will to dream ever so slightly about a tomorrow, and to let go of what must be cast off from today. Moses, Jesus, and certain prophets wandered in the desert of doubt and despair for as long as forty days. Yet each of them allowed himself to be open enough to be delivered, and ultimately to become the deliverer.

Hope whispers to us: "You are alive and loved, even if you cannot fully feel it." The inhale and exhale of a breath, the blink of an eye, and the yawn of tiredness or boredom remind us that hope is part of the soul yearning to be fully acknowledged. Hope rises from the soul first as a rivulet and then as a great stream. It begins in the daring to sleep or nourish ourselves. Hope is rooted in the soul, watered by tears shed and shared, and given life by us and God. At any moment, therefore, you are at least halfway there.

Actually, the doldrum state of ambivalence that is described is very much the hall-mark of the dog days of late August after a dull, wet summer....but for many of us hope is more than in sight, in the shape of Greenbelt. I've just dropped off Hugger Steward to embark on his stewarding, the sun is shining and hope is surely just around the corner. I believe that...and pray that you do too, whatever your plans this coming weekend.


Caroline said...

Thank you for posting this, Kathryn. I can do with an injection of hope.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I too needed something like it.