"Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God's guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness." Henri Nouwen
On Friday I wrote about the challenge it has been recently to find reasons to be hope-filled (and although that is true, it also sets off alarm bells in my body that I should ever be unmoored from this anchor: hope). Certainly there is an ebb and flow of celebrations and heartaches in this life, but as a seeker of hope I am nothing if not stubborn.
So I have dug deep and reached for a few of the voices whose words speak most convincingly to me about where to find hope and what that hope looks like.
I will never have the pleasure of meeting Henri Nouwen (as he is no longer living), but every bit of his writing has me convinced that we can be soul friends. A Catholic priest who was both highly academic and highly emotional (and openly lived with depression), Henri's life was transformed when he moved out of his prestigious role in University life and into a L'Arche community in Ontario. This decision came in large part because of his friendship with Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche and another whom I deeply respect.
Each of these men have spoken eloquently and often about the freedom in letting go of perfection, being vulnerable enough to experience the emotions elicited by the circumstances we find ourselves in, and the power of the Christian community:
"It is my belief that in our mad world where there is so much pain, rivalry, hatred, violence, inequality, and oppression, it is people who are weak, rejected, marginalized, counted as useless, who can become a source of life and of salvation for us as individuals as well as for our world. And it is my hope that each one of you may experience the incredible gift of the friendship of people who are poor and weak, that you too, may receive life from them. For they call us to love, to communion, to compassion and to community." -Jean Vanier
Before Brene' Brown (whom I also adore) began citing data and naming out loud some of the things we fear most deeply, gaining national attention for saying the things that so many have harbored for so long and have wanted to let go of, there was a quiet movement of change makers who had stumbled onto the same truth.
Namely: We were never intended to experience this world in isolation from God's love or one another.
[This post has nothing to do with bees, but I am soaking in the sweetness and wisdom of their words that provide salve to my restless heart.]