Watching Hope Become More Real

March 11, 2021. Today we mark the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. It has been a year-like-no-other. It has been a year of loss and grief; of anxiety and isolation; of crisis and challenge. It has been a year of patience and perseverance; of innovation and opportunity; of heroes and hope.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously told us that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” And an enduring lesson from our shared experience of this year of global pandemic is that our survival as a human family depends on our ability to bridge the differences that threaten to divide us — to become a beloved community that transcends polarization by embracing and celebrating both our diversity and our mutuality as we move forward in hope.

And so on this one-year anniversary of the beginning of year-like-no-other, let us hear today these words today from Bishop Steven Charleston:

How fragile a thing hope is,
how delicate when it must be handled.

And it must be handled,
for hope untested can float before us,
a gossamer promise,
a soap bubble of shining vision,
until it is time to turn that hope to hard reality,
then it can either take shape gradually,
solidifying and grounding itself,
or it can suddenly be caught on the political wind
and blown back to the shadow world
of what might have been.

Hope,
caught in the process of transition,
is a thin shell of possibility
that we pass from hand to hand,
trusting that we are all committed in our support,
willing to compromise,
but fixed in our principles.

Right now we are living in a fragile time of change.
We are watching hope become more real,
but we will need a steady hand
to keep this chance from cracking.

Bishop Steven Charleston

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