Hope Lives!

My 5-year-old son, Josiah, told me today – with a confident nonchalance that only a 5-year-old can muster – that he speaks excellent “Bird”. Apparently, all the birds love him. As a matter of fact, ” I also speak Hawk,” he declared.

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From my fortune cookie (a source of infinite wisdom): “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.”

No problem, I thought. Good on ya for believing in the impossible. We should all approach life with a certain amount of faith in the impossible, in ideas that are unbelievable, and the people who have them.

 

Let’s face it, this kind of faith is in our collective DNA. Having hope in a crazy idea is what made America possible. No one in his or her right mind would have ever believed that Jamestown would make it to year 3, let anyone  to year four and beyond, what with all the problems they had, not the least of which was famine.

And yet here I in Virginia, in a land so plentiful that it makes my heart weep.

And what about that crazy little idea about walking on the moon? Or vaccinations (inject yourself with the disease you are trying to prevent – are you nuts??), or air conditioning, or that women should have the same rights and entitlements as men, or that a dead guy could get up and walk out of his grave and live.

This last just might be the craziest of all, and I’m the first to admit it. There is nothing rational about believing what I believe. And let me be clear, my belief is unqualified. I do not think the story of Jesus is a lie, a metaphor, or that, even if there was an historical Jesus, that we can explain that event away with science  (perhaps he was in a coma, or in some way not quite dead yet).

No, I firmly and unequivocally believe that Jesus died and three days later, he got up and walked out of his tomb. I believe that Jesus is the hope of the world and this is because he lived.

Better still, he got up and lived on the heels of a revolutionary 3-year ministry where he healed the sick, comforted the grieving,  loved the rejected, and fed the hungry. Even if he hadn’t gotten up and lived, I’d still love the guy, because he got it. I’d love him because he understood that the Kingdom is right here in front of us, ready for the taking, if we just moved closer to love.

I recently saw Jack Canfield – he of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame – on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Jack said that every day we have to make a choice. And the choice is between love and fear. Are we going to move in the direction of love or are we going to hang on to our fear?

Love or fear?

Jesus asked us to move towards love and showed us that even our deepest fear – that of death – could be overcome by love.

And the real miracle isn’t that he lived, but that some many of us have found a way to love each other because of it. Through faith in him who died, then lived, and showed that death is not the final word, we have found moments of transcendent humanity and compassion. This is what the Kingdom is, and it its source is faith.

I believe that my son can speak bird because he believes he can and he loves birds, and I love him for it. And I believe that Jesus was dead, then he lived, and that His love leads to everlasting life.

Call me crazy. I’m good with that.

Because I’m going to do my damnedest to choose love over fear every single time.

Amen.