Clinging Desperately to Hope

by Elias Blum

Today I am clinging desperately to hope. I watch what the Tories are doing, what the bankers are doing, what the US Government and the Russians are, what ISIS is doing, and it nearly overwhelms me. I look at the poverty, ugliness, despair and destruction around us (not just in far-flung places shown on TV, but worryingly close to home as well) and I am tempted to give up hope.

But then I remember Vaclav Havel, “Work not for something because it is likely to be successful, but because it is good”. I keep going because I know it is the right thing to do, even when the future looks so relentlessly bleak.

I cling to hope because, somehow, in ways I cannot quantify and do not begin to understand, I believe that ‘crucifixions’ can be turned into ‘resurrections’. What looks like certain death is not necessarily the end. All things are being made new.

This is all that enables my fragile hope to be kept alive in a world that seems – if we walk by sight and not by faith – so utterly hopeless. We might have lost the garden, but we are stumbling and shuffling our way towards the distant vision of a ‘shining city’, a place where the common good abounds, and where no one hungers because they cannot make a decent living, or dies alone in a squalid bedsit, or suffers from a preventable or curable disease.

That is the highest vocation of humanity, as sentient, morally responsible stewards of the world: to take part in this process of making all things new. To restore the world, to bring healing and peace and love, to realise that the way of war, exploitation and destruction is not the right way. Slowly, creakingly, in the midst of this great and enfolding darkness, we can be little shafts of grace that break in and change things for the better.

My heart aches and breaks today. I am crushed and weeping for humanity. But my belief in hope is sustained when I remember that there are people all over the world, in great ways and small, in political action and charitable deeds, who are doing their best to make life better. 

The Spirit and the Bride say come.