At my core, deeply permeated the fiber of who and what I am, I am an optimist. As I watch older people interact with kids, I can see wisdom being planted in the lives that will shape our communities for years to come. Hope lives on. As I experience courtesy on the roads, I am encouraged by the selflessness of others. Hope is tangible. As I dialogue with others in a discussion filled with curiosity and listening with the intent of learning, I see an opportunity for a greater collective understanding. Hope on the move.
I can see how the pain in our lives defines life. Life hurts. Death, sickness, and fear for the future is painful to the point of being unbearable. My vision is narrowed to the point of feeling like I am looking with blinders on because of the domination of painful events. My ability to act is shackled by the emotions that emerged with the overwhelming force that evil uses against me. As bleak as it all seems, Hope changes everything. A smile of a child infuses me with a belief that we will overcome. A hand offered by a friend lifts part of the burden that is overwhelming me. Hope trumps despair.
When I find myself buried in darkness, the answer is to search for Hope. The psalmist suggests that the search itself is an act of hope. The prayer is simple and direct. “Let those on the hunt for you sing and celebrate. Let all who love your saving way say over and over, “God is mighty!”” (Psalm 70.4) He knows that if we act in hope we will experience Hope.
My optimism rests in the experience that people I meet want, long, and thirst for hope. We search for hope even as we lose track of the reality that Hope lives within us. When Hope touches us, through the words and living testimony of others, we are changed for the better. I am optimistic that Hope will always define us; that Hope will triumph over pain, uncertainty, and fear.