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It is our obligation to keep hope alive if we are to be fully human

Hope…the word, the challenge, the feeling, the invitation—it is all circling within my mind, my heart. 

Winter is a good time to reflect on hope.  The trees are bare, no leaves to slow the wind, catch the rain, shelter from the sun.  Flower beds are mostly empty of anything that looks like life.  The air is sharp, maybe even harsh. 

In our country good news is only found by a deep search in the media, buried under “complicit,” “harassment,” “divisiveness,” but hope is circling within me.  It does not go away.

I decide to be hopeful. 

The challenge is to nourish it, keep it alive, rejoice in every tidbit that feeds it:  good news, a friend who loves me, an invitation to be in community with others whose lives reflect that they, too, allow hope to continue circling within them. 

The invitation is to offer hope to others and receive it from them, to act on behalf of hope to make the world one that instills hope more easily. 

It is to notice when something changes for the better—name it, talk about it, celebrate it, support those who made it happen, be one who makes it happen, invite others to be change agents, too.

In the fall, we plant bulbs.  Is that hope?  Or an act of faith? 

Winter is a good time to reflect on hope, but we have been here before.  We believe, we know, that those bulbs will shoot up in green and astonishing color and design in the spring. 

We believe, we know, that those bare branches will produce buds which will burst into life, beautiful flowers which promise fruit, leaves which shelter us and dance in the spring breezes. 

Those are the seasonal signs that give rise to hope. 

If we choose to hope through every season, then we find that our hope does not depend on external signs, stories or events.  It is within each of us, and it is within our power to keep it alive.  No, it is our obligation to keep it alive if we are committed to being fully human in this world, not yet a community of justice, peace, love, joy. 

If we hold firm to hope, then those dreams and desires that we have for our world will continue to show themselves, along with possibilities to make them real. 

We must persevere and hold fast to our dreams, nothing less.  We can be transparently supportive, respectful of each other, a community of concern for the common good.  We can live out the compassion that is integral to being human.  We can. 

The circling, the challenge, the invitation, and our Yes will take us through season after season riding on the wings of hope.

Mary Ann Farley, SNJM

Contributing Editor

Copyright © January 2018 - The Fig Tree