Where does hope live?
“The way things are reflects the will of God.” That’s the justification for ruling by divine right that I read in ancient texts. A sort of, well I am in power and since God is sovereign and everything works out the way God intends, God must have intended this. He put me in charge. Deal with it.
One look at the world, at our newspapers, at our homes and it is plain to see that “how things are” has come very far from the will of God. Circumstances, events, headlines are a constant shouting to say, “Look how bad things are!” Where does hope live in all of this?
I see its address. It’s there inside the child hopping and jumping and tripping and falling over in a heap laughing. It’s inside the teen streaking down the field to strike the ball with such power I never saw it find the net. It’s in the surgeon’s hands who, with carpentry tools, allow a man to walk again.
God has his hands all over these. We’re masterpieces of the most miraculous sort. He knit us together without a trace of evidence. The way we are put together leaves no doubt.
But events. People. Leaders. Relationships. How can God’s handiwork be the stuff of this? Where does hope live?
I got a call Monday from my 21 year old. She worked in Anacostia this summer. Many days she walked from the metro to her internship. Other days, her boss picked her up. Every day, she passed the Navy yard where, this week, 12 people lost their lives at the hand of another. She called me in tears. “I walked right by there,” she said. I “saw the people working there.” Her boss kidded her to say, “There are your boy friends” in the Navy Yard. “Mom, there is no place that is safe!”
I let her walk there. I let her drive there. I let her take a low paying internship in a “bad part of town.” I put her at risk so she could pursue her passion. And she loved it. Loved the people, both co-workers and residents. Her passion is to bring people together through the arts. She does not see color, or race, or gender, or sexual identity, or income. She just sees people, trying to be more human. She sees God’s humanity much better than I do.
For a moment I am Abraham and she is Isaac, the child whom I must trust to God in the sacrifice. Is it me that God is shaping? Or her, a child of 21, whose innocence is gone. Whose heart is torn by the events of this week, because those people and that place are real. I wish she didn’t have to know this, but she does. She is where hope lives.
Yesterday, God in His great mercy, reminded me…
I must remember. In it all, You are.