Tag Archives: hope

When Easter is (and isn’t) about Hope

[Hope] is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart;
it transcends the world that is immediately experienced,
and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.
(Václav Havel, Disturbing the Peace)


A parishioner approaches me during coffee hour. We hug for a long time and I tell her I’m so sorry. She’s just lost a dear friend to a long battle with lung cancer. Although I don’t know her friend, we have been talking and praying about her journey with treatment during our regular women’s Bible study group, and the loss feels deeply sad for all of us.

“I just don’t think it was her time to go,” she says. “It doesn’t make any sense.” A person so full of strength and positivity, a single mother living (and now dying) far from her family, leaving behind a nine-year-old daughter. I’m struck by her words, especially now, in the midst of Holy Week.

I tell her that sometimes Easter doesn’t come three days after death, sometimes healing and new life takes much longer. I tell her some years, Easter Sunday rolls around only to find us still stuck in the middle of waiting, still stuck in the darkness of the tomb. Sometimes Easter isn’t about the fulfillment of hope; it’s about the reminder that hope can still be possible.

And she nods. She already knows.

Wishing you deep peace, friends, wherever this Holy Week finds your heart.


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Filed under Lectionary Reflections, Lent 2015, Theology and Faith

A tough week

Forget your life. Say God is Great. Get up.
You think you know what time it is. It’s time to pray.

Earthquakes, dog fights, and gunfire

It has already been a tough week around here.

Early Monday morning, an earthquake shook the Bay area awake before 6 am. A 4.0, the biggest I’ve felt since I moved here a few years ago.

At school, our week began with a dead dog dumped in the street in front of the school. A brave staff member scooped it into a garbage bag before the kids could gawk too much, but he told me later that the dog looked like it had been used to train other dogs to fight. It had been killed by another dog. I don’t even want to tell you how he knew.

And by Tuesday, one family with four kids in our school was spending their nights in the hospital with an uncle who had been shot five times by a local gang while he was out walking his dog. It will never stop shocking me how impassively kids talk about members of their families getting shot. It would have been a watershed event in my childhood, but its something common in their worlds.

It’s been a tough week. And it’s only Wednesday.

Hope is a hand to hand clasp

The deeply brilliant activist and Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan (a man who knows something about bad weeks) wrote:

Let me then make bold to remind you
faith is a two-way street
hope is a hand to hand clasp

come believe in me
take my hand

As for that well-known
“our Father who art…”
I’ll unclench my fist
bloodied at your wall
shake the tears from my face
(that never failing rainfall)
put myself
like a yoga, all will and darkness
in formal stasis, attitude of prayer
will, believe me
keep trying, keep trying, keep trying
(Uncommon Prayer, 62)

When you are feeling nearly devoured by evil, run down by sorrow, remember that your story – however fragmented, mundane, or ridiculous – is worth telling. And your hope – however small, shaken, or fleeting – is worth having.

God is great. It’s time to pray.


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Filed under Musings