I was invited by the awesome bloggess, Melanie Crutchfield, to write on “Hope”. Definitely read her article on the Hope Blog Relay and her entry for Hope on daring to fail. In the context of Church/State issues, it’s hard to be hopeful. Honestly, the crux of my posts tend to be on the problems of… Read more

I was invited by the awesome bloggess, Melanie Crutchfield, to write on “Hope”. Definitely read her article on the Hope Blog Relay and her entry for Hope on daring to fail.

In the context of Church/State issues, it’s hard to be hopeful. Honestly, the crux of my posts tend to be on the problems of the relationship. But thinking of hope made me remember what initially made me passionate about the church/state relationship in the first place: I saw people who navigated it well, with grace, and candor, and integrity. That’s seriously hopeful stuff. 

I choose to hope that religion can speak meaningfully into a starkly materialist culture without leaning on abstract improvable theologies. The article by Vatican Astronomist Guy Constomagno (referenced in a previous blog entry) really reminded me that there are a lot of truth seeking Christians in some of the most amazing places that know how to speak truth in the midst of uncertainty without being dogmatic. So great.

I choose to hope that the nation-state can truly provide an environment in which all religions can co-exist without fear of being called to the mat. Organizations like FirstThings, InterfaithDialogue.org, and ThirdWay all remind me of how valuable and healthy interfaith dialogue is, and how it is necessary to a true and lasting peace.

I choose to hope that there is a growing number of religious institutions and people of faith that truly want to love people of all sexualities. By love, I do not mean some laize faire “do what ever you want” kind of love, but the intense, deep relational kind of love that changes your character and the way you understand the world. We may not always be good at it, but we can desire to love and welcome all people. The Marin Foundation, Outtodinner.org, and the profound stories of several of my personal friends make me incredibly hopeful for how we all can learn to love each other. 

Passing the Baton (updated with their posts)

Now I’ll pass the Hope Baton to some folks who also inspire me and give me hope:

  1. The OutpatientMonk is a longtime friend of mine. I might say he helped give language to my deeply held thoughts until they became actions and lifestyles. Looking forward to reading his take on hope, for sure. His post on “Sitting with the Surprises” discusses how hope is found in those times when you are wrong — and that’s good!
  2. SDSU professor of History and my graduate advisor, Edward Blum has an amazing story that he’s sharing about his new born son Zander “E.Z.” Blum. (link updated with his entry). Zander’s blog is pulling in a wide readership. Partly because of his crazy cuteness, and party because of the obvious love and zaniness of his parents. Find hope in this little guy, born with 4lbs of hopeful awesomeness.
  3. Lesley Mills at Merlin’s Garden is a wonderfully lush blog on life, it’s meaning, it’s troubles, and all things that grow. So happy that Lesley will contribute to the relay. Her post on “The Gift of Hope” is about “the doubt” that’s inherent in all gardeners, and — as all her posts are want to do — illustrates how gardening is a reflection of the day to day hope and fears of life.