“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hope or Fear?

"You chose a Wellesley grad who spent the first decade of her career broke, begging for freelance work, who constantly heard that she was under qualified or, later, overqualified (that means old) or basically just plain wrong for whatever it was she wanted to do. She eventually ended up with a really great job, doing exactly what she wanted to do, exactly where she wanted to do it: in the Middle East. And she got hit by a car bomb; they nearly took her legs off. She had to come back from the dead, roughly five times, and learn how to walk again. So it tells me a lot about you and your current state of mind that you all thought you needed to hear from me, with whatever lessons I had to offer from those experiences, as you leave college for the rest of your life. In short, you all want to know how to be bomb-proof, right? So, you're right: I learned a lot. Most of all, that every time I ran into a wall, I had two choices on how to face it: hope or fear." Kimberly Dozier, CBS News correspondent in her commencement speech at Wellesley College, as reprinted in the NY Times NATIONAL section, Sunday, June 14, 2009.

I listened to an Alban Institute webinar last week with Diana Butler Bass and Graham Standish called, "Moving from Financial Survival to Missional Focus." It was very good. The essence of it was fear or hope. Basically that we live in a time of great fear. People are afraid of all kinds of things. And the fear is causing a profound "freezing" - an inability to be creative, to take risks, to discern what God might be calling a person, a congregation, a community, to do/be. The response to this fear is to work for, to hold intentionally, hope. And hope comes from prayer.