(This week's writings are all scheduled to be posted while I'm away on retreat. I ask for your prayers and patience. If you ask a question in your comment, know that I won't be able to respond until I return. Peace!)
Hope is not an easy chair. It is not that pair of comfortable shoes that always feels right. It is not the "There, there" that comes with a pat on the shoulder or a hug. It is not white clouds in the sky or a gentle rain. It is not a guarantee, a promise or certainty. It does not feel like we want contentment to feel. It is not that flower that always appears in the spring.
I wish it was. Life would be so much easier if it was; simpler, too. There may be those who call this hope but they are mistaken. Like cheap grace isn't really grace, this cheap hope isn't really hope. I don't use this next word often but it seems appropriate here: Alas...
Hope is that rickety-scratched-up-no-brakes bike that, surprisingly, makes it through city traffic and potholes. It is that pair of hiking boots that look to be all used up but aren't, quite. It is a shaking finger in the face; a kick in the ass; a push. It is dark storm clouds over a baked desert that's forgotten rain. It is tenuous, a question, and uncomfortably persistent... And fragile. It can feel like something that it is flirting with grief. It is like that weed we have tried to uproot again and again and again and then, every spring, it appears seemingly stronger than before: a green, leafy, viney taunt.
We come to admire it
and love it