On Sunday morning on the way to St. Stephen’s, I listened to the end of Public Radio’s Krista Tippet’s “On Being” and heard Parker Palmer read this beautiful meditation on“Hope” by Victoria Safford. (If you are unable to access the link to hear his reading, I invite you to read it yourself, slowly—maybe even aloud).
“Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of hope — not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of self-righteousness which creak on shrill and angry hinges, nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of ‘Everything is gonna be all right,’ but a very different, sometimes very lonely place, the place of truth-telling, about your own soul first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance, the piece of ground from which you see the world both as it is and as it could be, as it might be, as it will be; the place from which you glimpse not only struggle, but joy in the struggle — and we stand there, beckoning and calling, telling people what we are seeing, asking people what they see.”
Those who attend worship know that I am always inviting us to ask others to tell us their story and risk sharing our own. We tend to think that these small exchanges are fairly meaningless and innocuous, but as this meditation points out they carry hope – they bear Christ into the world and one another’s lives. What if we risked ... and witnessed what happens?