Betting On A ‘Hope’ That Does Not Disappoint

It all works out in the end.”

I’m looking for a reason to keep believing that’s true. But it’s hard when my reasons to keep hope alive takes a bullet to the chest every time someone mocks hope, calling it naive.

Without hope, what are we left with? Facts? (We all know the power of facts to save us, right?)

How about another option, a holy union of facts and hope?

Solutions in 2020: look back and see that it always works out.

We’re not the first to live in a “WTF” context (NOTE: Mom, that’s short for “Why The Face”). As much as we’d like to think so, we’re not pioneers.

We’re progeny, descendants of a legacy of both honorable and self-centered shepherds leading sheep who follow the familiar voice. Wars, disease and other forms of death dot our collective human history, and yet we remain.

Hope lives as long as we fill our memory with good things. Memories are best shared through story.

Ever looked at a picture and started giggling? If so, it’s because you’re remembering the story. One of my favorite pics is of my sister-friend Renee and me, 1986, sitting on the hood of her car, rocking my fab, asymmetrical bob and gold hoop earrings. It was the day after our junior prom. My date and I “carpooled” with another couple that was into some stuff so scandalous that we caught a ride home with somebody else at the end of the night. The next day, instead of kicking it with my prom date, I thought it prudent to roll to Galveston Island with Renee. (I’m STILL laughing even as I type this.) It all worked out.

I recently told a sold-out crowd at a storytelling event about the time I had two boyfriends who came to my house at the same time. They were 17. I was 12. The audience gasped (loudly) at that revelation. In the end, they sighed with relief. Why? Because it all worked out.

While in seminary, I’d been the victim of a cruel ruse, dealt by the hand of a relative that really loved Jesus and, at the same time, really hated me. His deception was so painful I routinely combed the feminine hygiene product aisles in search of new nicknames for him. I’d sample them aloud at happy hour with my seminary friends. Emotional wounds and $3 ‘you-call-it’ drink specials were lethal on Uncle Monistat’s reputation among my peeps. Years later, I finally pray without calling him a “punk ass” to God’s holy ears. I now pray and ask to forgive him — not “Douche” — just him. It all worked out.

To the current state of affairs in America, affairs that are carried beyond our borders to remote villages in Indonesia where a friend of mine, who is filming the second season of his television series, is fielding questions on if he fears for his safety in the states, I say, again, this is not our first rodeo. From “the shot heard around the world” to the “Trail of tears” to the institution of slavery and Jim Crow laws and child labor infractions and civil rights violations and victories and post-9/11 reality and 24-hour news cycles that clinical psychologists — before prescribing meds — direct their depressed patients to avoid, we’re still here, working it out.

Hope is more than a four-letter word. It’s not ignorant of our “Why The Face” chaos. It sees the man with the gun in the movie theater, and at the political rally, and at the office. It sees the gun in the hands of our children at school and at church. It sees the bullet in our father’s chest and our son’s side and our brother’s back.

Hope is a buoy floating atop a collected area of sewage in the Pacific Ocean having spilled over from the adjacent sanitation plant. There are still many miles of beautiful, life-sustaining water.

Hope directs us to flood our memories with stories of good things, not like a magic incantation that helps bad things disappear, but as a lifeline for hanging on while it’s all working out.

Flip to the last page. The end of the story is that after the disruption or disorientation comes a renewed orientation. We’re altered, no doubt. We’re also better, treading a better path than our fore-bearers, leaving an honorable legacy for those coming behind us, not one of perfection, rather one that sings “through many dangers, toils and snares, (we’ve) already come…and grace will lead (us) home.” #Asé #sobeit

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
alexusrhone

alexusrhone

Revolutionary artist. Artistic theologian. Fan of all things “Golden Girls”. Curator of true, first-person narratives. “Truth Meet Story” - www.alexusrhone.com