Rediscovering (Reflections of Hope, 6 of 6)

Psalm 9: 1-2; 18
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish forever.

Over the past five days I've blogged about hope as it relates to global poverty. I did this for one of my doctoral classes using this photo as a focus point for meditation. While the process helped me to synthesize my thoughts from the class, I also rediscovered a few things about myself and my topic.

1) Hope is messy. Who would've thought that reflecting on hope would be harder than grief? I tend to rush to hope so that I can feel the warm fuzzies that hope brings but hope isn't always wrapped up with a Christmas bow. Its messy and complicated.
2) The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. No I didn't just watch Elf (although that is a spiritual practice in our home). I rediscovered the practice of doxology. Brueggemann speaks about doxology as a way of expressing hope. The practice of celebrating what God is doing is a great tool in transformational leadership. It is important to stop and throw a party at times. So you just might find me singing a bit more even after Christmas.
3) Expect the unexpected. When I started these two projects (reflecting on grief and hope), I thought I would go to one of our local housing complexes to find a picture representing grief and poverty. Yet this picture spoke to me of hope first. I never expected to find hope first and then work backwards. Hearing from the Bishop that day opened my eyes to the fact that many people (myself included) hear the message of hope first and then grieve their brokenness. Also during this time many issues came up regarding the poor in our community. One of our non-profits had a break in and several Christmas toys were stolen that were ear-marked for needy children. We had to turn power on for a local family. One of the missionaries we support had a death in their family. Things like this happen all the time but my awareness of them was heightened due to my reflections. This process for me was not linear which made it messy (see #1 above) but also much deeper than I could imagine.

This practice had me feeling like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. All along I've had the power of the Holy Spirit guiding me and encouraging me to be with my neighbor and work for the transformation of the world. The task seemed overwhelming but my reflections helped me to break down what was needed into smaller steps and look at what was in my heart. My heart has been strangely warmed. I have lived into transformation. And I am truly thankful.

Until Everyone Hears,




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