Like many this week, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions - the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the shameful failure of the Senate to pass universal background checks or an assault weapons ban and then waking up yesterday to the on-going search for the second suspect in the bombing after a night of gunfire and explosions. I have been telling people that I feel like I am at one of the moments in a dystopian novel where hope is lost and we just don't see how our heroine will survive. Maybe what we need right now is the hope a Katniss Everdeen or a Tris can give us.
So where do we find hope? In dystopian novels often the hope comes from the sheer strength of will and perseverance of our heroine - they just keep going, keep trying - even when they are certain they won't come out alive - they keep going. Yet the other thing about these heroines is that they are not alone - even when they think they are the only one - there is a community, a group that helps out, that is also persevering. A group that may have been working for a long time waiting for just the right moment and usually that group is the one our heroine would least expect. Who have been those people this week in Boston, in Washington, in our own communities?
To all those in Boston who stopped and helped the injured - the police, firefighters and other first responders - loved all the posts of Mister Rogers reminding us to look for helpers. There were also ordinary people who stopped to help - I love that their stories are being known and shared.
This week I am so grateful for Facebook - for people letting us know they are alright, for communities like Church of the Larger Fellowship that started streaming their on-line worship service on Monday night for those needing a break from the twenty-four hour news feed. For friends who posted words of inspiration and hope.
I am grateful to people like Gabbie Giffords whose amazing op-ed piece spoke to my own anger and the promise that this fight is not over. I am grateful to our President for his words - again speaking to my anger and disappointment and vow that this fight is not over. I am in awe of the parents of Newtown, who after speaking and sharing their profound grief, stood there at the White House, sending a clear message that they are not done, that this fight is not over.
There have been reminders over and over that the goodness of people outweighs the bad. That love is stronger than hate. That hope is stronger than fear.
It can be hard to find hope in the midst of a week like this but don't stop looking. Even if you believe it is lost, look again and never stop looking.
I will leave you with two videos that my daughter posted this week that gave me hope. One is the trailer for a film, Girls Rising which my daughter actually went to see yesterday. Another is a TED talk, Shane Koyczan: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful.
Where have you found hope this week?