HOPE: Hang on Pain Ends
July 18, 2020
You may notice that this letter is being sent out later than usual. The reason is because I was having difficulty focusing on what to write and how to give comfort and hope as events continued to unfold in a way that has cast fear and discouragement on so many aspects of our lives. I knew I wanted to write something about the acronym HOPE (Hang On, Pain Ends). However, even with the understanding that this is God’s promise, I just had no idea where to start. And then last night, I learned that Georgia’s Representative John Lewis passed away. While my heart grew heavier that we have just lost an incredible leader, my hope grew as I pondered where our nation was when he started his quest for equal rights and how change has happened, even if it has been in painfully slow motion.
Today, I listened to the poignant comments from the people who knew him best. They said he was a great man and leader who had helped change people’s minds through a non-violence stance even though he had been beaten to the edge of death and arrested 24 times. Learning about his legacy gave me hope that the American people will have the fortitude to continue marching on for equality for all. I have hope that his legacy will not die, because now it is not just black leaders who are marching, it is also people of all races who are marching together in greater and greater numbers every day toward this common goal.
In closing, I want to share a passage posted on Facebook today by Heather Cox Richardson, a political historian who uses facts and history to make observations about contemporary American politics:
In June, reporter Jonathan Capehart asked Representative Lewis “what he would say to people who feel as though they have already been giving it their all but nothing seems to change.” Lewis answered: “You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more. We must use our time and our space on this little planet that we call Earth to make a lasting contribution, to leave it a little better than we found it, and now that need is greater than ever before.”
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair,” Lewis tweeted almost exactly a year before his death. “Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.”
Thank you, Sir. May you rest in power.
With love and peace,