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 Just Hope Overcomes Hopelessness
Doug Pagitt

"Hope disappears when we say that whatever will be, will be. When we are no longer looking for a better outcome, when we are no longer frustrated, we become hopeless people.

Situations of injustice can be a breeding ground for hope, for it is then, frustrated by injustice, that we see clearly what ought to be. In our frustration, in our refusal to resign ourselves to things as they are, our communities tell stories of struggle, tragedy, pain, and brokenness. By telling those stories, we keep resignation at bay and we dedicate ourselves, in hope, to participate with God in the dawning of a better day. We refuse to resign ourselves to the world as it is so it can become the world as it ought to be. That is when we are buoyed to keep living, to keep looking, to keep going. Some fear that to talk about injustice, struggle, and frustration will destroy the morale of a people or cause a gloomy spirit. But I find that this attempt to mute or hide difficulty and struggle actually cuts off hope. ...

So may we be people of frustration in all times when we know that things are not as they are meant to be. And may we be those who participate in bring about the very world whose absence and delay frustrates us. May we be children of a hope and a future. May the name of God, I AM, empower each of us to be people who echo with our own I am ... 'I am crying, I am trying, I am changing, I am hoping, I am believing.'

May we, believing, be people of just hope."

Pagitt pastors and owns businesses in Minneapolis. "Just Hope" in The Justice Project edited by Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla and Ashley Seeber, Baker Books, 2009, 249.

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