Tuesday, September 21, 2010

real hope

Near the end of my sermon on Sunday I was quoting a wise woman named Joan Chittister, who is a Benedictine nun living in Erie, Pennsylvania. She is a prolific author, having written more than 40 books. This past weekend she was interviewed on a CBC radio program called Tapestry. That interview can be heard at the CBC website.

I pulled some quotes about hope from the interview:

“People want to know about hope when they don’t have any.”

“Hope is the capacity to dance around corners with a smile on your face.”

“Hope is not an antidote to struggle. Hope is what comes out of struggle.”

“Hope is seeing in myself the ability to cooperate with a universe that is friendly and creator who wishes me well.”

Hope from this perspective is not a denial of hardship, or sadness, or loss, or challenges in life. Hope is the confidence that comes from having lived through hard times and come out the other end, altered by the experience, but still alive.

Sister Joan’s perspective on hope helped me see something new in the story of the “miraculous catch of fish”, and the call of Simon and other disciples. This may not be a new thought for others, but it jumped out at me that for Simon, the moment when he sees that life can be different than what he has known, hope is born, and he recognizes the call to follow Jesus.