Author: Larry Dansky
Love bears all things . . .. hopes all things . . . So now faith, hope, and love abide . . . 1 Corinthians 13:7,13
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Desmond Tutu
The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it. National Youth Poet L aureate Amanda Gorman.
Like Desmond Tutu, I look at hope as knowing that there is light in the darkness, even if I can’t see it. This approach allows me to have a more positive outlook when events occurring daily seem so depressing. In that light I can envision a different future.
I’m writing this devotional close to a month after the mass shooting in Boulder. I wrote a different devotional two days after the event that was filled with despair, sadness and even anger. It felt good to put these feelings on paper, but unfortunately, I got stuck in the emotions of sadness and anger. Sadness for all of the victims and our community, and anger at the perpetrator of the violence, the gun lobby, and the elected officials that refuse to make changes. Then I read an op-ed in the newspaper written by a college student who grew up in Boulder. He wrote about how his generation had grown up with school violence, mass shootings, and school active shooter drills. That’s all that they have ever known, and this was the norm for them. As such, he felt they had no reason to have hope that anything will ever change. I was saddened by his perspective, and yet understood where he was coming from. I myself have been feeling dejected, and wondered if the violence would ever end. After reading his piece though, I realized that our perspectives are different. Although gun violence has a long history in this country, I did not grow up with a steady stream of mass shootings. I remember the passage of the assault weapons ban in 1994 (and sadly also when congress let it expire in 2004).
I began to see that there could be light despite all of the darkness. I can envision a different future that diminishes the epidemic of gun violence in this country. That vision though, will not be realized if it remains just a wish. As Amanda Gorman says, “there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.” I need to seek ways to be the light. Despite feeling dejected, I will continue to participate in gun violence prevention marches, write to my legislators, support non-profits that work to promote violence prevention, and support PAC’s that support legislative candidates that will propose and vote for background checks and assault weapons bans. It is hope that feeds my persistence and determination. It is hope that allows me to envision a better future for my grandchildren and future generations.
Holy one, as I move from sadness and anger to hope, give me the strength to envision and work toward a future without senseless violence.