I watched the reality of yesterday push friends in and through the present. Sometimes the reality of their choices and actions carries them through tough situations. On other occasions, the momentum of yesterday seems to dominate the present in a way that freedom and choice find themselves abandoned by the very people that own them. The reality is that we always have as much freedom as we choose to believe we have. Yet, life has its own momentum.
It is ironic how easily we credit those who make difficult choices. In the state of one difficult period, “many of those who listened had already believed the Message-in round numbers about five thousand!” (Acts 4.4) It is hard to image why and how individuals would stand in the breech when they would potentially face adversity and ridicule. To the individuals that take a stand in easy times and hard, obvious times and those less so, and when someone is watching as well as when nobody seems to notice, I give my humble respect. It is an act worthy of God. It is also one filled with hope.
I find that I have lost my willingness to judge those that are fighting to deal with the reality of life washing over them, creating a belief that they are about to drown. Freedom is often closely linked with hope. When we have hope, we exercise freedom. It is not automatic that our choices will lead to more hope, but courage and strength seem to go hand in hand with hope and exercising freedom. In the absence of hope, one often finds that the self is giving up the most powerful aspect of what is means to be alive, freedom. Nobody can take freedom away from us. We can give it away. In the midst of life's chaos that overwhelms us all, we all have moments of weakness and failure. I find compassion, mercy, and a willingness to share hope is the only response that makes sense.
In today's dawn, I find Hope is the key to life and freedom.
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