in part 1 of this 3-part series, i wrote about my frustration over how biblical hope has been downgraded to optimism and positive thinking by much of the american church. i also wrote about the a-ha experience i had in haiti, bringing me to the early stages of a new understanding of real hope.
in part 2, i unpacked a model of hope i’ve been slowly developing, where dissatisfaction is a necessary (and good) precursor to real hope, and where longing and hope co-exist (relying on each other, really) in a beautiful dance.
so… a few final thoughts (and, for my youth working friends: the implications for youth and young adult ministry should be clear — we work with a naturally dissatisfied people group. it’s a freakin’ cornucopia of hope potential, baby.)
counter-intuitive truth about hope: embrace pain and suffering – yours and other’s. we all experience pain and suffering. but most of us find tricky ways to squash it, or ignore it, or medicate it, or spiritualize it. we’re robbing ourselves when we do that.
our path to experiencing true biblical hope is a path into the place where god dwells, with the suffering. that’s the place of the deepest hope, the hope that reaches out for the hem of christ’s robe, like the bleeding woman in luke 8.
and, since god dwells with the suffering, it’s not only our own pain, suffering and dissatisfaction we need to embrace. we can find god (and therefore, hope) when we come into contact with god in the midst of others who are suffering (that’s exactly what happened to me on that street in haiti).
if you want to find hope, go to the suffering, the dissatisfied, those longing for something better. then and there, the dream sparks back to life.