Living the compassion of Jesus

Where's The Hope?

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It seems as if every morning is filled with news another act of destruction and evil somewhere in the world. 

And by the time we return home for dinner in the evening - new stories of brokenness have emerged in the intervening hours. 

If we are not careful, this can (rather quickly) produce a cycle of frustration, fear, and hopelessness. That in the face of so much evil in the world, what can be done to change anything? Is there really any hope for a better tomorrow? 

And, honestly, this frustration is legitimate. There is too much evil in this world. Our times do seem dark.

But, to quote one of my favorite movies, "the night is darkest just before the dawn." (The Dark Knight)

Because our hope is not based on what we see. Our current status cannot be viewed in a vacuum - absent the context of the past and future. 

Those of us who are followers of Jesus know what the future holds. When Jesus Christ will return to earth and finish the work He started 2 millennia ago - redeeming all of His creation and bringing His Kingdom back here to earth fully (i.e. a new heaven and new earth). 

And we are invited to be a part of that work. To help spread God's Kingdom throughout the earth. Because God's Kingdom is on the move, and while today may be filled with brokenness, we can find comfort in seeing how far humanity has grown throughout history (though, admittedly, we still have far to go absent God).  

And we each can take part in God's work. By spreading love, beauty, and peace in our world. By enacting the future we believe is possible and that we hope is near. 

The artist Makoto Fujumura put it this way: 

Do not be washed away in apathy, entropy and decay. Instead of threatening the world with terrorism, and deny the fundamental endowed capacity to create in love, we need, in the quiet of your daily service, give sacrifice so that others may live. Art and love are fundamentally the same act, operating on the same sphere of our lives. You see, art is not a frivolous, peripheral activity, but it has to do with the deepest core of existence; it is to love yourself, and your neighbors. Art defines what makes us human; and fully human, we will be making things.

We are called to love.

Because it is the right thing to do. Because it spreads hope and peace. And because it helps others see a world that is not yet here, but is closer than anyone of us might expect. 

So what can we do this week to help spread hope in our world? 

Here are a few ideas: 

  • Mentor someone. Invest in the life of someone younger than you. Share your wisdom, lessons learned, and life with another individual. Doing so could change their life forever. 
  • Volunteer. Whether it be responding to a natural disaster or fighting hunger through investing your time at the local shelter or pantry, you can make a difference through your investment of "sweat equity". 
  • Have a meal. Invite a neighbor over for dinner. Perhaps someone you have met but don't know well. Something special happens when we gather together around a table of food. 
  • Speak life. Words may not be everything, but they do hold power. Speak love, life, and encouragement to others and about others every day of the week. 

We each can do something - where we are with what we have - to make the world a better place. To make today look more like the future, hope-filled, pure-love future we all yearn for. 

How are you spreading hope? How are you seeing it be spread well by others? Share by commenting below!