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January 5, 2017, 8:31 AM

My Two Cents

Last week’s sermon concluded with a list of “signs of hope” compiled by various members, friends and family connected with Christian Temple. Here’s a copy of the list for those who might be interested. Enjoy!

 

I see hope in the young friend of mine who just told me she’s going to have a baby in July.

 

I see and hear hope in the cooing of my newborn daughter.

 

I see hope in Asher Ray, a cute-as-a-button, tough-as-nails seven-year-old, who has lived with Ewings Sarcoma, a form of cancer, for more than half of her young life. After having been told they were out of options for a cure and that her cancer had spread, This little warrior has recently been accepted into a cutting-edge clinical trial.  

 

I see hope in the fine adults our children have become.

 

I see hope in the new governor of North Carolina.

 

I see hope in a natural world that remains filled with beauty.  

 

I see hope in people who are inherently kind.  

 

I hear hope when I hear people laugh, especially people I know and love.

 

I see hope in a growing appreciation, especially in matters of racial justice, that we must confront our past.

 

I worry that it is a mark of privilege to speak more of hope than of responsibility. Our temptation may be to take shelter from the storm. Our faith requires us to walk into the storm and find those in need of shelter. 

 

Speaking of the storm, I see hope in the song “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain.

 

I see hope in the testimonies of women who were inspired to be leaders by 19 year old Carrie Fisher’s Princess Lea.

 

I see hope in the number of my former students who, used to be politically apathetic but who are now standing up and speaking out and advocating for justice. That was my primary professional objective so now I can retire in peace.

 

I saw hope three weeks ago here in this sanctuary in the excitement of a young child calling out to his mom in a church service, with joy and surprise,

“Mommy, this is my babysitter!” This happened right after all the young children in the sanctuary had spread through the room to collect socks for Paul's Place from a generous, caring, accepting congregation.  I see hope in that exuberance and generosity.

 

I find great hope in the capacity of ordinary people reach out to each other in love and to do so in spite of their differences.

 

I see hope in the musical Hamilton, making history come alive with such an appreciation of diversity.

 

I see hope in Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda's acceptance speech at the Tony Awards. Whenever I get discouraged, I go back and listen to it again.

 

I see hope in the millennials in our family who, for Christmas, asked for donations to organizations that make a difference every day in this world. They were not thinking of themselves but of others who will be on the fringe and need their support. These young people CARE about the world and are asking the rest of us to help them make a difference.

 

I’ve seen hope in the gathering of amazing friends to celebrate life in spite of death, and in the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

 

I see hope in the strength I’ve received through prayer to be more kind.

 

I think the best hope I see right now is the children. Or the young adults. Both, I suppose there's so much controversy about bathrooms and locker rooms and when are boys boys and when are they girls and who decides. And that looks pretty bleak.

But I'm not sure. I don't think we could have even started to have that conversation when I was in school. A transgender student wouldn't have lasted in high school as long as a fruit fly.  And despite all the outrage, despite the division over it, it's a conversation we can have. We live in a world where children are increasingly safe to look at their families and be honest about who they are. It's a world where hiding is becoming a thing of the past. And that gives me hope. I can see a day when there won't be a need to come out. A day when we walk into mom's kitchen with, not a boy or a girl, not gay or straight, but just *people*. And I think we get closer every day. They give me hope, these brave children- these brave young adults. They give me hope that someday no one will ever live the life I had to live.

 

I see hope in Christian Temple because I've always felt that it was one of the first places that I was just accepted. It wasn't a thing. There was no fight between my faith and how I live my life, with who I am.


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