From giving hope to a helpful resource
Sarah Watson (4 January 2019) asked what Quakers have to say about hope. My answer would be that Quaker faith is all about giving hope: by being patterns and examples; joyfully living out our testimonies; showing that peace, integrity, equality and simplicity make this world a better place and ourselves happier people; and by sharing our stories of transformation with each other and with the wider world.
I’m not surprised that ‘hope’ isn’t in the index of Quaker faith & practice. Nor is ‘love’. They’re not in the index, because they can be found on every single page of the book.
We must not let hope die. After all the worrying and often tragic news, both here and abroad, I try to focus on particular issues.
The fragile peace in Yemen is still holding. Despite the ‘hostile environment’ that still exists for asylum seekers here, many people challenge it. Many look after them, or invite refugees into their own homes. Whenever a particularly distressing or unjust story is made known, there is a huge and sympathetic response: letters and money pour in, petitions are signed and great kindness is demonstrated.
The very flawed system of Universal Credit has been ‘paused’, because lots of people have challenged the government. Teachers and others give hungry children breakfast and a main meal in the holidays.
These are just a few examples bringing hope. Finally, I trust that ‘whatever is true… honest… just… [and] of good report’ (Philippians 4:8) will have the last word.
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