Friday, August 24, 2007

Hope

Hope. It's a precious commodity in this city.

I have been thinking about hope a lot lately. Romans says that "hope does not disappoint us." A few chapters later, it says that we hope for what we can't see. That's what makes hope hope.

And so I'm hoping for Kolkata.

My team leader says Kolkata wears its brokenness openly. It is true. Whereas in other cities across the world, one might have to dig a little harder to find the brokenness, here it is painted across the canvas boldly. You meet the hurt right away; it's an instant introduction. But then, she said, you find the hope. Slowly. Certainly. You begin to see with new eyes, and you find that the cup of suffering is also the cup of joy.

4 comments:

  1. Hey Lara,
    The unknown surrounding your life in my mind has been a hard thing to face up to this week. I try to pray and than I realize I don't know what to pray for, what to pray against, who you're speaking to at this moment, living with in this week, what you need to be protected from or what you need to be brave and compassionate for, what you have to do day in and day out, or even how you're attepting to learn a language. So I cry and I tell God about all the things I don't know how to pray for and I trust that that in itself is a prayer and Christ is picking up the rest of the huge load of intercession I am not able to carry in his greater understanding and more perfect desires. I miss you dear sis. SOOOO much. Somehow missing you in India is not the same as missing you in Colorado or Arkansas.
    But as for hope, you are right on. I was reading CS Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet" yesterday and thinking of you and India and mankind in general in his huge wounds, sin, waywardness, and foolishness. In comparing our world to another theoretical world that never fell Lewis somehow reminded me that the damage Satan was/is able to do on our earth, however serious and heartbreaking and "bent," is but a drop to be reckoned with in comparison to the ocean of our good Father and the righteous, justice, mercy, and love he intends for all of his creation. We are living in the time of the occupation of the Evil One, but even now Christ's kingdom is present and is also coming. You and I are ambassadors and soldiers in its establishment, and whatever happens to us, we are part of a much bigger plan that will not fail, the hope of Christ's unquestioned, unthwarted, undeniable rule over all the universe. This is a hope for us, for America, and for India, that will not dissapoint.
    I love you and will pray that you will not forget hope and that Christ will strengthen you for all the unknowns I don't know how to pray for.

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  2. Lara I love you so much. That post filled my heart with joy for what you are striving for in Kolkata. I miss you a lot and am also learning to have hope for my own students who are suffering in their home lives and having so many grown up struggles in their precious childhood years. I am so proud of you and I love reading your eloquent and thoughtful words.
    love love you. Pritz.

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  3. Lara,
    I am currently reading The Divine Conspiracy, Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard (a little trivia, he's originally from Buffalo, MO).
    As I began to read today, I thought of you. He writes: "Jesus' good news about the kingdom can be an effective guide for our lives only if we share his view of the world in which we live. To his eyes this is a God-bathed and God-permeated world. . . .It is a world in which God is continually at play and over which he constantly rejoices. Until our thoughts of God have found every visible thing and event glorious with his presence, the word of Jesus has not yet fully seized us."
    He then quotes Vladimir Nabokov from an article entitled "Beneficent".
    Willard writes: ". . .Nabokov writes of a moment of awakening in one of his characters who, watching an old woman of the streets drink a cup of coffee giver to her, 'became aware of the world's tenderness, the profound beneficence of all that surrounded me, the blissful bond between me and all of creation; and I realized that joy . . .breathed around me everywhere, in the speeding street sounds, in the hem of a comically lifted skirt, in the metallic yet tender drone of the wind, in the autumn clouds bloated with rain. I realized that the world does not represent a struggle at all, or a predaceous (predatory) sequence of chance events, but shimmering bliss, beneficent trepidation, a gift bestowed on us and unappreciated.'"
    I have felt like this on some too rare occasions. I pray that you will experience this much as you minister in all of that degradation.
    I pray for you each day, young one. Take care, and God bless.

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  4. Oh, what a hard thing to comprehend. How does the cup of suffering turn to joy? I'm encountering a little bit of this in Parral, but you have to look for it. We live in a pretty nice neighborhood, but there are many places of brokenness. I keep wondering, "What is life like for this poor Tahamara Indian woman that's asking me for money? Who is Jesus to her? How can I be Jesus to her?"

    These are such hard questions, especially when I continously feel like my job demands all my thought, time, and resources. Rrgh.

    Keep struggling, friend. Remember the power of the Good News that we carry around in our hearts, minds, and bodies.

    bn

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