I’ve been thinking a lot about hope in the last few weeks. It has become an annual reflection as our son’s annual IEP review (Individual Education Plan) approaches. His Kindergarten year was fraught with stress and confusion and hope…hope that we could figure out how to help him, that the school would come through, that he would – could – have a joyful future.
So once again I have been reflecting on hope – it’s elusiveness, it’s necessity.
Hope: (verb) to cherish a desire with anticipation; to desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence – Trust; to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.
We need hope to keep going. We need hope to keep waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, and sometimes, to breathe.
But what if you have run out of the expectation of obtaining your desire? What if you can no longer trust others to help you, have confidence in the system that is supposed to work? What if everything you have seen and experienced repeatedly demonstrates that what you want, what you need to survive, can never happen, can never come true.
If you are able to get out of bed, is it just out of habit? Is it out of how sometimes, simple forward motion continues to stay in motion? Or is it that out of somewhere, perhaps undetectable, there is a desperation that propels you forward?
Faith: (verb/noun) belief and trust in and loyalty to God; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust; something that is believed especially with strong conviction; and something that is believed without question or doubt.
Sometime when I was very young, if it was listening to the waves wash onto the rocks, trees and bushes at our cottage, or drawing in the pews as I absently soaked in the prayers and sermons, a deep desperation from within my cells reached out and grabbed onto God.
And it is on God’s Spirit that I have kept a desperate hold. Even when my faith in doctrines or establishments falter. Even when I had no hope in myself or others, I had faith in God. And it is from this faith, that I have hope. A hope that can never die, can never dissolve into nothingness, and can never be severed by others or by myself. As once I reached out to God, it is God who now strengths and ensures my hope’s very existence.
Faith: A state of being ultimately concerned. Living within the framework of having God as the ultimate concern of life.
Hope: A uniquely human expression of personal and collective faith that connects the finite and infinite, by transcending the finite in an active and creative restoration of the created enabled by the infinite and allowed by the finite.