Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11 (NIV)
In these difficult days, I often find that my soul is downcast. Inside, I feel disquieted. I find it difficult to be content when so much violence is surrounding me on the news channels. Hope is a rare commodity. Yet, the remedy seems to be in the power of hope, putting my hope in God and looking forward to better days.
That is the foundation on which to build our activism. With hope in God, we move from despondency into action. With hope in our hearts, we find ways to stand up and name the violence. We find ways to speak truth in the face of chaos. We find ways make peace. We seek God to determine the ways we can work in our community.
We definitely are experiencing darkness. There are no simple answers to racism, hatred and the violence that assails us. We could control guns. We could conduct better screenings for police officers. We could create ways to more accurately identify perpetrators of violent acts. There are many actions that could help. But hope in God must be our first line of defense. Stubborn hope that never gives up finds us in the dark. From there, our remedies can take shape, pointing toward the dawn of a new day.
Anne Lamott writes about the power of hope:
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don’t give up.
I leave you with two things: a challenge to become an integral part of your community as you proclaim peaceful ways; and this blessing from Scripture:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)