I spoke at First Presbyterian Church of Vancouver yesterday. It was the first time I’ve been in a building, other than an occasional trip to the grocery store, in months.
There were only 10 or so people in the entire sanctuary, but it still felt a bit strange. Every precaution was fastidiously orchestrated and applied. My talk was taped and broadcast to the congregation (if you’re interested, you can watch the talk at [starts at 47:10]: https://youtu.be/zFFvLrS_Kns). The whole production was first class.
I’ve spoke at many churches, civic groups, organizations, and clubs over the years. My talks are usually the same – the who, what, and why of Health Bridges. I talk about the origins of our work and the shift to becoming a 501(c)(3) registered organization. I generally speak about the projects and programs that punctuate our work. I talk about the vision we have for creating better collaboration and partnerships. It’s a pretty standard talk.
Yesterday was different. Yesterday, I talked about hope.
So much has happened over the past 8 months. Too much. At times it feels like we’ve lived 9-lives in these pandemic months. At times it feels overwhelming, hopeless. Yesterday, in front of a few masked faces in a cavernous church sanctuary, I talked about how we can work together to overcome the feeling of hopelessness. I talked about how we can work together to be the hope so many people need.
Hope is a strange word. For many, it means wishing for and desiring of. For many, it is a word focused on dreams – with little grounding in reality. But the word hope means so much more than wishful thinking. The Latin root for hope means to curve or bend. It is a word focused on going in a different direction. A word focused on change.
I am living in the hope that we can bend the curve of justice for all. I live in hope that we can – and will – build a future for every child to have access to the life they deserve. I am standing in the hope that we can and will go in a different direction when we work together to bring hope to everyone.