Posted by: Renee | September 11, 2011

Choosing to Hope

by Renee Sappington

Like many of you, my day has been filled with memories, lessons, fears, and hopes related to 9/11/2001.   I think what haunts me most about that day in our country’s history is the realization that the fear and terror Americans felt on that day and for some time afterward is an unrelenting way of life for many people in the world.   To linger with that too long is overwhelming.  Yet, there are days when I am filled with hope, even certainty, that life will get better for people all around the globe.  There are other days though that I have to choose to hope despite all the evidence.   Allow me to share what I’m feeding myself today – words from the essay “The Small Work in the Great Work” by Victoria Safford: 

I am interested in what Seamus Heaney calls the meeting point of hope and history, where what has happened is met by what we make of it. What has happened is met midstream by people who are-among the multitude of things we are-spiritual beings and all that that implies of creativity, imagination, crazy wisdom, ancient wisdom, passionate compassion, selfless courage, and radical reverence for life. And love-for one another absolutely, and that love that rises out of us, for something larger than ourselves, call it what you will. I am interested in the place, the places, where history is met by the hope of the human soul, life’s longing for itself. I am interested in hope on this side of the grave-for me there is no other kind-and in that tidal wave of justice that could rise up if only we would let it.

Some days I lead the chorus of voices asking God “where are you?” and “why aren’t you doing something about this?”.  Today I accept responsibility and stand humbly before the throne of a God whose kingdom will not come without my help – without all our help.   With the power of God within us, may we rise to the occasion – over and over again.


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