For about a week now I have tried to write about where we find hope in the midst of complex problems in which we are complicit, but I felt I was blocked at every turn. How hard can it be to write about God as the source of our hope?! Yet as hard and prayerfully as I tried, my sentences seemed either too dry or too sappy, too simplistic or too convoluted. Finally I discovered that if what I write is to honor the comlexity of the issue, I must come at hope in a less direct way. Gentle reader, bear with me.
The founder of Quakerism, George Fox, often touched peoples’ hearts and brought them into his new religious movement after saying something like this: “The prophets says this… The Apostles say that…. But what canst thou say? Is it inwardly from God?”
George wanted women and men to examine how it was that they knew God. Did their knowledge come from what the prophets and apostles were recorded as saying in the Bible? Or did it come from an inward encounter with God’s Spirit, just as the writers of the Bible encountered God personally as they wrote?
Without diminishing the importance of the Bible as the inspired words of God, George didn’t want people to read the Bible or listen to a priest instead of going into worship and talking to God directly. That’s why George encouraged people to listen, believing that God would speak – without intermediary – straight into a person’s heart, mind, and soul.
Finding hope in troubled times is something I could write about. I could tell you inspiring and true stories about hope from my own life and others’. I could tell you stories of real-life resurrection when God brought new life out of darkness. If I did, gentle reader, you would be receiving words of hope second or even third hand. Instead, you could hear words of hope from God’s own mouth!
Query for prayerful consideration:
God, show me hope.