Sometimes we surprise ourselves. This happened to me recently, this child of insecurity and chaos, frightened with many obstacles, yet I still am able to find comfort and guidance in a spirituality that always seemed to be with me, like a protective force. My spiritual spark comes from the Jewish tradition, which, despite my own chaos, keeps me grounded.
The more I learn to about commitment the more committed I become. It is similar to the Southern black Baptists who show a feverish enthusiasm when they go to their community prayer service and are filled with joy, overcome by an emotion called “hope.” I listen to their voices rise louder and louder to make G/d hear, so they can feel great trust and love. G/d will give them the hope that will keep them protected to persevere to overcome life’s challenges. The power of prayer is something unique to us humans. Those who have not experienced the power of prayer just may be missing a layer of spiritual protection like no other. More than a mother’s love or the comfort of a cozy blanket, hope is the ribbon that wraps it all together.
Growing up, I understood my faith, but I was not a “praying” Jew for much of my life. I did not understand that hope and security come from the simple act of releasing your will and allowing G/d to take over. Hope brings trust and trust brings confidence in yourself and those around you.
I feel compelled to share with you, my faithful friends and readers, the impact of the word, “hope,” as it can and does get one through both anxious and disturbing times.
Five days ago, I returned from a trip from the holy land of Israel, a watchtower of the three major worlds’ religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. My role was in a leadership capacity for an organized group of Jewish women who joined this adventure on a personal quest on how to best understand their history and role in their faith as women. As this was my second trip, my confidence and belief in a higher power once again brought me closer to how my faith allows me to be connected to everyone and everywhere, back in time and into the future. And, it all stems from the simple commitment to hope. This modest adjustment in my outlook has kept me on track when I begin to run out of steam. I now know, even though I never knew it before, it was hope that instinctively blessed me since childhood and, perhaps, kept me alive.
As I walked through the streets of the old city, I had an epiphany that seemed so simple, it frightened me that someone of my nature had not arrived at it before. I toured Hadassah Hospital where I saw, with my very own eyes, people of all faiths praying side by side. It was the realization that “hope floats” through us and us humans have the capacity to hope. It is the simplest, yet most rewarding human attribute. It takes no money, no building, and no guidance; it takes nothing except you.
I derived, from using Judaism as my particular pillar of strength, that there is always hope when there is faith. In response to hate, another human attribute, we have hope. Hope defeats hate every time.
As I stood in the shade and peered at the blue skies and sun above, I let my thoughts wonder back to the way people of different faiths have treated each other through time. I realized succinctly that G/d gave us the ability to choose. Hate over Hope or Hope over Hate.
My prayer for you is, “let hope float,” however it is chosen, under the blue sky and brilliant, yellow sun.