Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
John 14: 27

Perhaps fear is the opposite of hope.  Fear shows us what we are afraid of losing.  But fear also invites us to touch our vulnerability, our fear itself, and put these in God’s hands.

My daughter Ellen was a tiny person with disabilities.  She lived her last twelve years joyously in a L’Arche community, and L’Arche held us both throughout her dying.  It was about four weeks into her final stay at Toronto Western Hospital that we met again with her caring medical team, this time to discuss palliative care. It felt unreal.

After the meeting I took a walk through Kensington market.  It was an early fall morning, and shop
keepers were just beginning to open up.  

I came across a young man sitting on the concrete in front of a little food shop, leaning against the wall, holding a baby bird cupped in his hands.  I walked over to see and sat down.  He said he’d found the bird on the ground where he’d slept last night.  It must have fallen from a tree.  It was quiet and still, and the boy tenderly stroked its feathers with a finger.  We talked.  He asked if I’d like to hold the little bird.

I held her as with a kiss. She was beautiful and she was dying. I was surprised by a welling of tenderness and hope.

Hope is about trust.  We risk reaching out to others, letting ourselves touch and be touched.  Hope is about turning from our small troubled selves toward Love and Mystery, knowing our need of God and each other.  But most of all, hope is God’s gift.

– Barbara Sheppard

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