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Finding hope in our broken, wounded world | GUEST VIEWPOINT
BY BILL HARPER
It is easy to say, this week, that we live in a broken, wounded world. It is obvious that if we are made in the image God (and I think that we are), then we human folk have tarnished the image, and lost sight of it in others.
That we (and again, I include all of us — hard as that may seem) know how to build bombs and spread guns everywhere, well, that reality is evidence enough that something in our human experience is wrong. We are sacred, holy, beautiful. And in need of healing.
If this week reminds us too vividly of that truth, then what do you and I do in the face of it? I suppose I have lived most of my adult life with that very question. I will admit that too often I gloss over the broken truth. Too often I try to dilute it with human powered optimism.
So one simple step to take is to be honest about the depth of the problem. I can't muster the positive energy to fix what's broken — I need more than "me." Frankly, I need Grace and God. We all do. Let's start there. It's a more honest spot.
And then let's remember and claim two simple truths: Human life is absolutely sacred and human life needs unconditional love. Anything you and I can do to act on those two truths is what we are called to do. Anything.
I was reminded this week that there is a difference between hope and optimism. Hope is rooted in the belief and trust that something is true, even when the evidence seems otherwise. It runs deeper. And it doesn't need "results" to substantiate it. It just "is."
So I am weary, worried and hopeful. I see the broken parts and the wounds. And I will continue to ask for healing and help —and I will hope. My hope is rooted in the sacredness of the life of the next person I see. And in the love we know God gives us all.
So I say, Peace. Be with you.
Bill Harper is the Vicar of Grace Church on Bainbridge Island.