Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hope Part 1

The ceiba tree was often the symbol of the foundation of the world in Mayan civilizations.

Hope exists in many forms, is manifested in many ways.

It is emotion and decision.

It is what allows some of us to reach for our highest dreams and others the ability to simply live.

It changes from person to person, from culture to culture and yet in so many ways stays the same for all of us.

At different times in our lives we all struggle to hope.

I suppose to not have hope is to despair to some, to face reality to others.

And it can get interesting here.

The people of Nicaragua live with much hope. Not for any particular reason, they’ve been through war, poverty, epidemics, and natural disasters. But to let go is to let go of life, and so it is ingrained very deeply.

An NPH priest, Father Ron, told me a story about the construction of a new chapel in El Salvador. He said the workers told him it would be done before his birthday. It surprised no one, however, when his birthday came and went and construction continued on.

“Yes, but weren’t you happy when you thought it would be completed by your birthday?” One of the workers asked him. “No way!” Father Ron replied, “I would have just liked to know the real date it was going to be done!”

But it stands to reason that the workers truly hoped that it would be done for his birthday in spite of all the real signs it wouldn’t be. Just like in their lives, they hope for a better life for themselves and their children, despite all the real signs that life is just as devastated as it has been for decades.

Father Ron has plenty of hope for other things, like the future of all NPH children! And he also has a completed chapel.

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