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Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

Photo by Joe Grant © 2015

The things that truly last are only three— FAITH which flowers first, HOPE whose seeds we cannot see,  and LOVE the fruit of letting-go, the joy of setting free.  

1 Corinthians 13: 13 (Adapted)

Seeker,

Where do you hunt for hope, and who looks for hope in you?

 

The young lean

into the future,

filled with promise.

 

The old recline

on the past,

cushioned by memory.

 

The wise sink

into the present,

soaked in possibility.

 

“We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses.”  Pope Francis

 

There is a story

about a neighbor

searching in the long grass.

 

“What are you looking for?”

a friend inquired.

“I lost my key,” the neighbor replied.

 

“Where did you drop it?”

the friend continued,

eager to help.

 

“In my house.” declared the neighbor.

Astonished, the friend asked,

“Then why are looking out here?” 

 

“Oh, it’s much too dark in there,”

the neighbor concluded, and continued

a fruitless search in entirely the wrong place.*

 

“We have been called to be fruitful – not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress, and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness.” Henri Nouwen

 

Watching the weather, we worry and wonder

about what will become of us,

and whether we can morph from life-takers into life-makers.

 

It is such useless toil, however,

to run our lives

on the fumes of optimism.

 

For clever science can neither save us

nor adequately describe

the depth of our dilemma.

 

No matter where we turn,

on this spinning, blue-green globe

there is everywhere upwelling a hunger for hope.

 

Why then would hope elude us,

unless we are seeking her

in all the wrong places?

 

Afraid of the deep dark of unknowing,

avoiding those light-blind places

where lives languish and troubles threaten to unseat us,

 

keyless and clueless,

we opt to become victim

and perpetrator of mass distraction.

 

How else might hope find us

unless we choose

to dwell in the shadow…

 

Holding

On, despite the dark, to

People with nothing left but aching

Expectation of newness.

 

“Hope is not a matter of waiting for things outside us to get better. It is about getting better inside about what is going on inside. It is about becoming open to the God of newness… Surrendering to the demands of the moment, holding on, when holding on seems pointless, brings us to that point of personal transformation… we hope because we have no reason not to hope.”  Joan Chittester

 

The only name

which does not diminish the Divine

is “SURPRISE!”**

 

While not all surprises are pleasant,

they are by nature unpredictable,

even unexpected.

 

“Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.”  Pope Francis

 

Turn your face to the sun, the Maori say,

and the shadows fall always behind you.

May this be you practice and your blessing today.

 

joe

 

*Adapted from The Song of the Bird, by Anthony de Mello.

** Wisdom from David Steindl-Rast.

 

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Still In the Storm

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