Hope is my favorite theological virtue.
I have always been a hopeful person, even as life has been dark, and then easier again, and then the bottom has fallen out, and then I’ve rebuilt my faith, and then life became challenging. Even with uncertainty in my life I have had hope.
Hope is not the same as believing everything will work out exactly how I want it to. That is foolishness. Accepting uncertainty – or even preparing for the worst – is not necessarily pessimism. It’s realism.
Hope is not putting good and bad on a scale and waiting for it to tip toward good. That is setting yourself up for failure. Some days the tally leans toward hardship. Lately I have had many days like this.
If I looked at life dispassionately, all head and no heart, it would be difficult to have reason to hope. Luckily for me, that’s not how I’m wired. My heart informs my whole life, and this is what it tells me:
My heart clings to goodness. What good there is in the world matters to me more than the bad. The receptors of my soul are wired to attract good, and allow blessings to burrow down deep. I don’t ignore tragedy – in fact, I see the value in sitting with it for a while – but it doesn’t hold a place inside of me. Ultimately it is transformed, however modestly, by the countless good things that I hold in my heart.
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Isabella R. Moyer says
What a beautiful reflection – and testimony- on hope, Margaret. I especially like the image of hearts clinging to goodness. It describes so well the intentionality of hope. Thank you!