An Abundance of Hope

It’s easy to feel at the moment that there’s no hope to be found – but I don’t see that.

In the words of Love Actually, ‘If you look for it, I have a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love’ (or, in this case, hope) ‘actually is all around.’

I see random acts of kindness and good news stories cropping up everywhere.

I see people banding together (by staying apart).

I go out for my walk and I see people drawing chalk rainbows in their driveways, hanging Australian flags off their balconies in signs of encouragement, community spirit and solidarity.

I see people doing silly things and telling silly stories to make each other laugh.

I see people getting creative and dressing up to take their bins out into the streets on bin night.

I see groups of people getting outside to howl each night at 8pm, so we all feel connected from afar – even just by doing something ridiculous.

Around the corner from us, yesterday there was a family standing out in the street with balloons in front of their house because it was their daughter’s 5th birthday – and everyone was honking and waving at them as they drove past.

And, as Fr Richard Hendrick said in his sermon in Ireland…

‘Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi, Italy
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.

So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

Fr Richard Hendrick,
March 13th 2020

This is all a good opportunity, I think, to stop, to reflect, and to slow down more – the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we may never have again.

Sure, there’s a lot of doom and gloom out there, but there’s also a lot of positivity. And when we come out of this, we’ll all be better for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *