Courageous, Generous, Relentless Hope


claire colvin -gorgeous generous relentless hope-2

The space between Christmas and New Year’s can be an odd time. For some, the celebrations are over, the gifts have been given and there’s a lull in the action until the 31st. For others, the mad dash of the season is still in full swing, and for some the celebrations never really got started. For all of us the specter of the new year looms just a few days away, filled with expectations and declarations, resolutions and One Words, and plans, so many plans. This article is not about the plans, or all the ways we can do more and be more in 2018. It’s about the thing we already have. It’s about hope.

A couple of weeks ago I got to hear the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra play a few selections from Handel’s Messiah. The words of the song are still running through my head.

Rejoice greatly,
O daughter of Zion Shout,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
behold, thy King cometh unto thee!
He is the righteous Saviour,
and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.

I don’t know what Christmas 2017 has been like for you, but I do know this. Whatever road you are walking today, the king who was promised, has come to you. Because God came, we have hope. I keep discovering that when I go looking for hope, I find it. It’s just that sometimes I forget to look.

For some of us hoping seams pretty easy, but for others it is an act of incredible courage. When I look at the political landscape of 2017, hope feels so far away it might as well be on the moon. When I think of two friends who are in the final stages of cancer, hope feels even further away than that. But I am convinced, even now, that hope is as much a reality and every bit as active in the world today as gravity. It is a force at work in and through us.

As women who have hope, we need to be women who give hope to a world that desperately needs it.

So how can we be hope givers in 2018? I saw something on Twitter the other day that keeps rolling around in my brain:

“When people talk about time travel they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small in the past; but barely anyone in the present thinks that they can radically change the future by doing something small today.”

We can change the future and that fact carries a lot of hope with it. We can make small changes today that radically alter the future. We can refuse to be part of a system that routinely centralizes white male experience to the detriment of all other types of experience. We can read stories by and about people who don’t look like us, or sound like us, or think the way we think and let them change us.

We can value the very young and the very old and the very poor and the very tired. We can be generous and forgiving. We can have conversations about politics that don’t resort to name calling and shouting even when we disagree. We can stop thinking that someone else will tackle the big, hard things. We can start to tackle the big hard things, especially if we do it together.

So often I fall into thinking that big, world-shaking change requires big money but that’s not always true. Yes there are things that require funding, absolutely, but I keep learning that being willing and showing up is high value currency. It can accomplish a lot.

There are small ways that we can show up in big ways. There’s an app in the States called Appolition that lets you donate your spare change to help pay bail costs for low income citizens awaiting trial. At my local grocery store there are coupons at the register that add $2 to your grocery bill that gets donated to local food banks. Lin-Manuel Miranda is partnering with Toys R Us to provide toys to kids in Puerto Rico. The toys start at $5 and the most expensive option is $20.

As we get ready to step into 2018, let’s be courageously hopeful, and generously hopeful and relentlessly hopeful. Let’s toss out scarcity thinking with the old year and remember that the king who was promised came to us and he brought hope with him.

SheLovelys, what is one small action you can take in 2018 to help change the future?