I forget who said that. (Betting Rob will know and puts it in the comments.) :)
But it really does, you know. Hope is incredible. Even the world knows that. "Hope Floats," as the movie title has it, and a good point. Hope rises to the surface like the bubbles in 7-Up. It's effervescent. It's bubbly. It can't help rising up. It's clear. It's airy. It's... well... hopeful. Hope is good thing. It is necessary. And sometimes it is all we have. (And if that is so, it is enough.)
HT: The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus
I was watching old episodes of "Alias" tonight - my boss knows me well, and got me Season 1 for my birthday last week. And there's this quote in the fourth episode that just leapt out at me as I watched, so when the show was over, I scrolled back and wrote it down word for word. It spoke to me not only of the incredible value of hope - but of at least one dimension of what the church should truly be. I've thought about chiming in on this whole conversation that's been going around about the church and where she's failed and what an ideal community would look like, or how you even try to come close when there's so much brokenness in the world, and in us... but honestly, I think Sara's written an amazing letter, and I'm not sure I have much more to add except that if you are someone who has been wounded by Christ's bride, I am so sorry that happened to you...and I wish it hadn't. It was not supposed to be that way. Please forgive us... and give God the chance to make it up to you. We won't ever be able to - but He can.
For those of you who aren't familiar with "Alias" - it's about an undercover agent named Sydney Bristow. In this scene, she's with fellow agent Michael Vaughan, on a boardwalk somewhere by the Pacific Ocean. She has just thrown her pager into the ocean at the end of a complete melt-down - it has been a horrible day, and she is more than a bit overwhelmed. This is what Vaughan has to say:
"In this job, you see darkness; you see the worst in people. And though the jobs are different, and the missions change and the enemies have a thousand names, the one crucial thing - the one real responsibility you have is to not let your rage and your resentment and your disgust darken you.... When you're at your absolute lowest, at your most depressed, just remember that you can always... you know. You've got my number."
Do you have friends like that? I hope so. I do. Some of them go to the local church I currently call home. Some of them live a couple hundred miles away. Some of them are on the other side of the Pond. That - if you will - is what the Church really is. A few people close by, a few far away - each person with their own unique gifts that they bring to the mix, their own things that need fixed, their own hurts and struggles and strengths and joys... all, built together, across the world, and across time, into an absolutely amazing thing called the Church, who has the privilege of being called the Bride of Christ. She is wanted. You are wanted. I have hope that one day, we will all see that.