Young adult and Emerging Leader Alex Bonte wrote this powerful reflection on hope for the Carillon this last week. I appreciate his wrestling with how to reclaim hope and make it come alive. What does it mean for you for hope to come alive?
If [you] would ever like to offer something–a reflection, song, video, image, whatever, let me know and I would love to post it here. I would love this to be a community-curated page!
View From Here from The Carillon, March 26, 2014:
“I have been struggling to connect with our lenten theme this year. It is difficult for me to not think of hope as delusion, or as some sort of a future-focused betrayal to the proudly present grace and love of God. Making hope something that feels alive has been difficult.
At Gather this week, instead of an extended discussion time, Kelly (our Young Adult Coordinator) provided us with different sized paper and card stock, crayons, pastels (which I mostly understand as “fancy crayons”), and colored pencils and asked us to draw what we felt or thought about hope.
I started with a deep, black hole in the center of my paper. The deepest black I could grind into the page. Surrounding that darkness was a loosely orchestrated cacophony of color that radiated from and swirled around the black. The colors bled together, some were pleasant, others muddy, and faint streaks of black cut through the colors at uncomfortable moments. It was not pretty. It was not meant to be pretty. And this is how I understand hope – the colors that surround the deepest solitudes I face. Hope is my answer to nothingness, hope is what is there when I am hopeless, and I wonder if it has to be much else.
I used the word “understand” but even now I obviously have trouble describing it in specific terms. For whatever reason though, drawing those very ugly color swirls helped push the word hope toward real feelings in my soul. I don’t know what it means yet, but at the very least it has confusing and colorful meaning now, where it held only flatness before.
It is these practices of reexamination, redefinition, and reclamation that are the hope I see for new a new voice of Christianity. Taking words and ideas that have fallen stale or grown painful and powerfully grabbing them back into the realm of life. Into a context where concepts like hope can again inspire in a way that hooks your gut and tugs at it, or where the mention of sin will not be toward an ambition of shame, but rather an acknowledgment of our shared humanity, our collective imperfection. The safest and boldest context of all: the loving embrace of others like us, the warmth of creation itself, and the endless compassion that is God. To be loved is to be known, and to be known is to be loved. Hope has come before, hope is here, and hope will come again; even though it may be neither pretty nor readily understood.”