Hope is Found Between. December 25

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I am not one to whom hope comes easily, But it does come.

I have to keep listening to and remembering these stories: Ganesha who shared his toosie rolls, the courage of Las Abjeas who dance and mourn together after a massacre, Alan’s whose hugs transformed me after a L’Arche community tranfsormed him, everyone who has had the courage to forgive me, and of course a young teenage girl who heard the call, took the job, welcomed the gift and changed everything.

In all of these stories there is a shocking sense of open space. Things have been cleared. The streets have been swept. It is not just a private space of the heart. It is shared space. It is a willingness to be surprised by each other, a space to be known for what we are and not for how we threaten each other. Hope requires that we make room for it, but hope also comes only as a gift. This is why the work of hope may actually be quite frightening; we work for it to arrive and then we have to trust that it will. This is necessary so we are not always held under the tyranny of our own limited expectations. We wait for God to land in a manager, but we must also look for God to be born in each other.

I have to keep the space between us clear and I have to trust you will be there. I have to keep the world ready for a surprise and learn how to wait for the surprise to arrive. Hope injures our pride and praises our gifts. We are always working and always waiting. I have my fear and I share your joy. I cannot force it. I cannot wish it. I cannot ignore its absence or count on silver linings. I cannot keep it to myself.

I can, however give it. I can receive it. I can share it and I can wait for it.In between all of these is a seed of hope. Hope is found between.

If nothing else you may have this: for your sake and mine I have tried to listen to our world and to God to see I have tried to listen to the darkness of our days and to their quiet songs of grace. I have written so I can remember. I have written so you can know. I have looked between great people, both brave and weak. I have searched between myself and others and found God. Therein is our hope.

I am one to whom hope does not come easily, but it does come. That is why, as far as you know, some guy somehere is sitting at a keyboard believing very much in who you are, who we can be, and that God is not finished with us. Fear not. God is with us.

Merry Christmas,

Your little brother, Doug.

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