My friend Don offered some helpful insights about hope. From Walter Brueggemann’s commentary about Jeremiah in Hope Within History (p. 67):
…history makers may see clearly that things are deeply wrong, while they may not see how in any way a turn can happen, they are characteristically not voices of despair. History-makers and historical action do not proceed out of despair but out of hope that acts against the data at hand.
Don also passed along this quote, which seems to have originated on Twitter, from Matthew (@CrowsFault) on March 10, 2022:
People speak of hope as if it is this delicate, ephemeral thing made of whispers and spider’s webs. It’s not. Hope has dirt on her face, blood on her knuckles, the grit of the cobblestones in her hair, and just spat out a tooth as she rises for another go.
Don and I have conversed about Fannie Lou Hamer. This quote reminds me of Hamer and her thought-provoking rendition of Mahalia Jackson’s A City Called Heaven:
I am on a pilgrim of sorrow. Tossed in this wide world alone. I have no hope for tomorrow. I’m trying to make Heaven my home. Sometimes I’m both tossed and driven. Sometimes I know not where to roam. I’ve heard of a city called heaven. …