Hold to the Hand of Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
-Romans 15:13

Last week was a big week for us in this nation. We cracked the door open to police reform. As we listened to and reflected on the verdict, some of us held tightly onto our breath in disbelief that things turned out the way they did. Some of us remained cautiously optimistic. Some of us started talking about what it all meant. Will the doors of justice finally swing open, will they stay cracked, or will they close again?

As always, the media was filled with nail-biting analysis and rating-worthy commentary about it. We who are believers wondered what God had to say about it. We wondered through our sermons, our Bible studies, our worship, our praise, our prayers, our shouts, our cries, and our silence.

In one moment, we were rejoicing and starting to believe. Then, as soon as we started to sleep in our joy, hours later, we were reminded that some people still don’t believe that BLM. We were quickly reminded that have such a long way to go and many miles before we sleep.

On the other side of the world, India reminded us that we have still a long way to go with Covid-19. We must think of them every time we don’t want to wear our masks or feel that we are too special to take the vaccine. We must think of them as they try to breathe, just a little bit, for as long as they can. 

Yes, last week ended in a murky place, grays instead of the crisp sharpness of black and white. While the week may not have ended with clarity and guarantees, we still have hope. We continue to hope because as long as there is life on this planet, there is something worth fighting for today and in the days to come. We rest but we do not quit. We wonder but we do not lose hope. 

Just in case you needed something to smile about this week…

Last night’s Oscar Awards offered bright spots in the nominations, including two new things: 1) Judas and the Black Messiah marks the first time an all-Black producing team has been nominated for best picture award and 2) Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) became the first Black women to be nominated in the Makeup and Hairstyling category. Viola Davis made Oscar history as the most nominated Black actress ever while Andra Day snagged her first nomination (source: blackfilm.com). 

These bright spots remind us that we are still breathing and still hoping. If you are still wondering, perhaps, Jennie Bain Wilson’s hymn offers some wisdom:

Time is filled with swift transition.
Naught of earth unmoved can stand.
Build your hopes on things eternal.
Hold to God’s unchanging hand

or perhaps, Jesse Jackson said it best, “Keep HOPE alive!”