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“Hope is the thing with feathers –that perches in the soul—and sings the tune without the words—and never stops at all.” - Emily Dickinson
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” - B. Kingsolver
Lately, we have had some difficult situations with some families and children at the Soup Kitchen and I’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Sometimes ‘hope’ seems like a wimpy word—something not firm or solid. Yet when I think of hopes expressed by folks at the Soup Kitchen, I remember that many hopes become realized…many dreams become real.
It was a hope that brought “On the Rise Bakery” into being—a place where men with a prison record or a drug history could learn a trade and earn a living. It was a hope that created an awesome Gospel Choir from the guests at the Conner Soup Kitchen.
Luke 10:29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” MEV
This was a question that was asked of our Lord Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. This is a question that can still be asked today.
In Jesus’ response to the man that asked the question, He told the parable of a man who was traveling from Jerusalem to the City of Jericho. Along the way he was robbed, wounded, stripped of his clothes and left for dead.
At a recent new staff training, we were watching clips from the movie “Francesco.” One thing that inspired me was that Francis of Assisi did not have all the answers. He was graced with an inspired spiritual intuition to see each other as family, as brothers and sisters no matter one’s social status. One of the implications of this is that he needed help and we need one another. Others in the Franciscan tradition such as St. Clare and St. Bonaventure helped by breathing a lasting energy into the Gospel inspiration that so moved St. Francis.
Last week the Rosa Parks children remembered and commemorated the Florida students killed on February 14. The children, also, discussed family and friends they had lost to violence. Prayerfully, we lit a candle as each child named someone who had been killed recently. Several 11-year-olds mentioned a girl in their class who was very depressed by all this and was acting suicidal. This led to further discussions on what we can do to change meanness, violence, and bullying into kindness and compassion. We decided to make a peace blessing, a love blessing to share with people of the Soup Kitchen.