david steindl-rast 2

Everything depends, of course, on how pure our hope is, how deeply it is rooted in the heart. There is ample room for self-deception here. So how can we check ourselves?

Maybe we could subject our hope to a simple test. It's not a foolproof test. Nor is it very precise. But it may give us a clue. You may want to try it out on one of your pet projects. First list the various hopes you have in view of that particular project. That's step one. Next, use your imagination to picture every single one of those hopes going down the drain. You may want to dwell on that possibility just long enough to feel the degree of despair to which it would tempt you. The hope that is let after all your hopes are gone--that is pure hope, rooted in the heart.

We have made an important distinction here between hope and hopes. It parallels our earlier distinction between faith and beliefs. We saw that faith leads to beliefs, just as hope leads to hopes. Yet, faith does not depend on beliefs, nor does hope depend on hopes. We even saw that beliefs can get in the way of faith. In a similar sense, hopes can get in the way of hope, stop up and block pure hope's openness for surprise. It makes a world of difference where we put our wight--on those hopes out there ahead of us, or on 'the hope that is within.'

A person of hope will have a whole array of lively hopes. But those hopes do not tell us much. The showdown comes when all the hopes get shattered. Then, a person of hopes will get shattered with them. A person of hope, however, will be growing a new crop of hopes as soon as the storm is over.


  1. "A person of hope, however, will be growing a new crop of hopes as soon as the storm is over."

  2. Agreed...very good words.

  3. Good, solid quote.
    -Blake O.