What is Hope?

In the past two days I have called my senators several times expressing my concerns and asking them to cast their vote in a particular direction for the good of the country.  Do I think for one minute they will get that message? Am I delusional enough to believe they even care what my opinion is?  Of course not, but at least I can say I took action and didn’t simply complain.

This era may not be the most critical in America’s history, but it darn sure has far reaching implications for what lies ahead for our country. For example, I received one email from the  American Family Association Action Alert indicating that we should be outraged that Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, lied about “no more pork” by adding billions of “pork” to the proposed rescue plan. At the end of the email it challenges me – “Please forward this to all your friends and family and ask them to take a pledge not to vote for a member, of either party, who lies to the people.”  I must confess, I chuckled a bit when I read that. For whatever reason, the writer of that piece seems to think that somewhere there is a politician that does not lie. Isn’t that the nature of politics – to say one thing and do another and then make an excuse as to why you did it?

Apparently our President was fine with tax cheats in his Cabinet. However, on at least three of those appointments, when people raised their voice against it, he changed his mind. Tonight, when he gave his talk to the House Democrats at a retreat in VA, he made no mistake that the “cable chatter” against his policy was nonsensical. I suppose that’s true if you don’t like people calling into question or analyzing your proposals as you attempt to ram them down their throats. Change cannot be cloaked in “I won” so you do what I say type of language. As one person has said about the idea of paying for this bailout…”the government is not the country or the nation, its people are.  The government has no money that is not taken from its citizens, borrowed in our names or printed without our consent.” (Graham B. Patterson)

In some respects, it seems that as a nation we may have lost our balance. Many expect and hope that Government will care for them, clothe them, buy their groceries and pay their medical bills. Uhm….I think there is a word for that.

Our hope as a nation lies in the people’s strength and resiliency, not in government programs and entitlements. Our hope as people of faith lies not in the government but in God. And as such, we should be a voice of reason; a collective group of doers not mere lemmings. If that means opening our churches to feed and shelter the poor and homeless then that is what we should do for it may be many in our own congregations that line up for that love. If that means, as they did in Acts, pooling our resources so that no one goes wanting, then that is what we must do.  But alas, that is unlikely. We are too entrenched in having what is “ours”; in taking care of self first and then if we have time or resources left over we may reach out to others.   Oh, I’m not pointing fingers or casting criticism at the church, I’m just reflecting what I fear may be in my own heart.

What is hope? I’m beginning to think it is how I feel about my fellow citizens. What sacrifices I am willing to make in order to answer the call. And that frightens me.


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