BreakPoint | by Stephen Reed | Nov. 3, 2009
A Christian Virtue Highly Prized – In an extended recession like we are facing now, with people having a difficult time finding work after months of searching, promoting hope can seem rather saccharine, even unfeeling. Indeed, God sided with Job over his friends when they chided Job for feeling devastated at his many losses. Setbacks and tragedies are all terribly real, and to ignore a friend’s losses isn’t being much of a friend at all.
But at the right time, we are wise to remember the stories of those who have gone before us, including even Job, who finally was ready to look again with hope to the future. The cynic in each of us can feel sheepish cultivating that old childhood virtue, but there’s a reason that, when all else leaves us, hope remains.
The reason is simple: Hope is the slender, but sturdy footbridge that gets us across the abyss; it’s the virtue that helps us to get to the place where more virtues can finally be entertained again. As such, it is the oftentimes necessary “gateway virtue” for faith, love, perseverance, and joy.
Singer/songwriter Paul Simon captures it as well as any when he says at the end of his famous song, “Train in the Distance:”
What is the point of this story? What information pertains?
The thought that life could be better is written indelibly
Into our hearts and our brains.
Or, in Christian parlance, hold on, hold on until the third day. There is much tragedy in this world, but Jesus’s open tomb remains the final word. If we take Him at his word, He claims to want to give us life and give it to us abundantly.
. . . more