help/hope

(Written a couple of days ago.)

In a little over a week, I get to preach a sermon about hope. If only I knew the specific direction I should go in. I spent an hour pouring over scripture and nothing gripped me. So either it’s not yet time to write or I’m disconnected.

Either way, I find it quite bizarre that in the midst of trying to figure out the right sermonic angle on hope, I’m currently helpless in a different area of my life. Someone is desperate for help that I can’t provide. I’ve done what I can but no part of my role includes the actual fixing. That’s tough for me. I enjoy being able to process through questions, whip up solutions, drop an ounce of wisdom, see lightbulbs begin to flicker–know that I’ve done my teacher duty. Feels good to be needed and to meet the need.

Tonight there is no meeting. And if needs can’t be met, can there be hope? Can hope exist in the absence of solution?

This was one of my brief ponderings during today’s hour of sermon exploration. But who wants to preach that? Who wants to hear that there’s hope in your helplessness? Folks want to hear that their tears of mourning will be turned into tears of joy…now…or at least sometime today…next week at the latest.

Yet it’s true–gratification is often delayed. And so we hope in what we know is to come. Boy that’s tough. There’s stuff we know will happen, good stuff, eternal stuff. But the yucky stuff of now, this moment, greys our vision of a new heaven and a new earth. That good stuff isn’t now. We want good to be present tense.

And it is. It’s here and now but it’s hard to feel and we like to feel.

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