Restoring Hope

Lots of talk of violence lately — and maybe not from the source I would expect (i.e. media) but from church. No, no, nothing majorally violent has happened there … Just discussions about violence in general. All of this talk of violence raises a lot of questions. Questions with no answers or very complicated answers.

In bible study, we discussed violence for a couple of weeks in a row. One of the questions asked was how does one promote peace in a world bombarded with violence? (that is a major paraphrase, btw) What a great question. I’m especially thinking of kids here. How do we teach peace and reconciliation in a world where they are constantly being attacked with violent images everywhere they turn?

We chatted with the middle-schoolers about violence and peace as well. What was astonishing to me, was this conversation … even more than the adult conversation. We let them lead the discussion for a good portion of the time … and not ONE of them. Not one. Not even one of those youth said they thought peace in the world was realistic. It was so disheartening for me.

I was hoping that they would have hope. I need them to have hope. I need them to have hope for themselves and for me and for the world. Perhaps that’s a lot to put on the plate of a 7th-grader … but I need that.

So the questions come … how do we offer that hope and make it tangible? How can we give this generation (of which, I’m actually a part of) hope for the future?

I realize that a perfect world isn’t going to happen overnight. Maybe it starts with peace in our own worlds. In our middle-schoolers’ worlds. Start small and get bigger. Peaceful thoughts and peaceful beings. Perhaps that can shed some light in our darkness.

I still hope.

I hope they will, too.

About stepanana

just a girl writing about life through this lens.....
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One Response to Restoring Hope

  1. juliegvillo says:

    Not even ONE? wow. That IS sad. Because hope doesn’t have to be manufactured. Hope came in the form of a child–fully human, and fully divine–who overcame violence and death and everything sinful once, for all time. The hope is in seeing that. The hope is in knowing we can find peace in our own hearts through relationship with Christ, and then, we can be peace*makers*. We can be God-bearers … hope-spreaders. You’re absolutely right: it starts small, and gets bigger. Things like caroling (which you did), and mission trips and just choosing peaceful ways of conflict management over angry ones that have potential to become violent. But if we are to lead these young people to hope, we have to have hope ourselves. We have to have hope for them. We have to believe in the hope Christ ushered in. It has to start with Christ. It has to start in the church ….

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