Hope and Faith 2021

RW 2021 Hope and Faith

          A few months after my infant daughter Sarah died, I purchased a blank journal and starting taking notes.  The notes were ways that Sarah continued to appear in my life: the angel-wing begonia cutting bursting into bloom in January; the pink balloon drifting across the sky at the cemetery; the adoption pictures I was beginning to look at.  There was a healing in writing the notes but there was more healing in the expectancy of purchasing a blank journal and knowing there would be experiences to put on the pages.  Faith seems to be a more active form of expectancy than hope. If hope is the blank journal, then faith is the purchase, keeping a pen handy, staying alert for the good unfolding and committing to writing it down. 

          This year’s advent season also begins Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of light and faith, when good triumphs over evil and hope stands strong in the face of fear.  We’ve been through some interesting times the last couple years and it is easy to focus on loss and darkness.  Yet faith encourages us to be the light whenever possible and expect to see the light in the darkness. As the late Thomas Kadel admonishes us in the title to his ministry book, we must “Keep The Book Open.”  Look with expectancy at the blank page of each day and commit to seeing and noting the good as much as you commit to being the good others see. It is the light of Radical Wholeness within each of us that is seeking expression.

          This advent will be the first season of freedom in 43 years for Kevin Strickland.  While the state of Missouri declines to give him compensation to begin after 43 years of wrongful conviction, the Midwest Innocence Project started a GoFundMe page and raised $1.5 Million. 

          While a menorah was first placed across from the White House in 1979, this will be the first Hanukkah celebrated by the family at the Vice-President’s house. Residing there is the first female, Black and Asian Indian Vice-President.

          Vaccinations are available and we have the potential to limit the spread of COVID and all its variants. People are traveling again and with vaccinations, people are gathering in homes and embracing loved ones.  We have missed the hugs of connection.

          Let this season of light illuminate the darkness with the beams of each smile, each kindness, and each connection and may the path be revealed for each step forward in faith.

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