Everything that has been done in the world has been done by hope.

I saw this quote, attributed to Martin Luther, on a bookmark when I was in graduate school.  Whether or not Martin Luther said it, I think it’s true.  Advent is approaching, and last night we talked about dreaming and hoping and holding your head up to keep watch for God’s New Day even, or especially, amidst the suffering that so many of us witness or experience.

I asked the students to write down their wildest and craziest hopes for themselves and/or for the world – forgetting any kind of practicalities, or any kind of responsibility they might feel towards actualizing this hope.  Advent, after all, is a time when we wait actively, dreaming, and trusting that God just might be up to something that is beyond our capacity to make happen.

These were some of their hopes, for themselves, their families and the world they will inherit (there were also a number of drawings that I won’t try to explain):

  • that my parents will find peace between each other, and my brother realize how great he will be when he succeeds and that the fighting in darfur ends.
  • environmental problems solved! eco tech everywhere! responsible people, open minded people, understanding people. global action to help those in need around the world.  willingness, patience to pursue peace – no exceptions. no war. for myself: happiness.
  • that each and every individual may know love and peace and that they are loved just as they are.  may each of us know joy and be able to express their inner passions fully and deeply.  may the weary and lost and lonely find rest.  may the still small voice of the Lord resonate in each and every heart as a blessing unto others – friend and stranger.
  • that all children of god will know only love – instead of hunger, hopelessness or pain; and that i may be able to use the gifts that God gave me to help meet the world’s need.
  • peace. no more wars. people will solve problems by talking and listening.  terrorism will be no more.  the money going to modern warfare will go to the poor, the sick, and the needy.
  • to tread lightly on this earth, to not leave a scar on the world, but to better our home through kindness to one another and the planet.  to find a moment of happiness within each day, a simple joy, a reason to smile.  to be less concerned with the idea of self and more concerned with the ideas of another.  for us to all find inner peace. to share our triumphs, hopes and joys.
  • my dream for this world is for every single child to have a positive role model in their life…and for every child to have equal access to education.
  • that everyone feels love.
  • peace, cooperation and understanding between people of different creeds, religions and nationalities
  • be content.  live in Jesus’ image.
  • when all who hunger are fed
  • respect for everyone and everything and through respect, we will have peace.
  • to feel adequate.  to feel like i can let down my barriers and be loved.  to know that i won’t always succeed but to be okay with mediocre.
  • a world of love and compassion; where life is respected, adored, and cared for; where no one struggles alone.  a live of purpose and above all love.  love of the people and by the people in my life, and love for what i am doing.
  • inner peace for everyone.
  • i dream that one day everyone in the world will see others, appreciate others, and learn from others.  i dream that one day people will open their eyes to the world around them and will learn that God’s love is constantly spreading.

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