On finding hope…
Indigenous Choctaw elder and Episcopal Bishop Steven Charleston describes in practical terms how this love and foundational hope surround us at all times:
The signs are all around us. We can see them springing up like wildflowers after the prairie rain. People who had fallen asleep are waking up. People who had been content to watch are wanting to join. People who never said a word are speaking out. The tipping point of faith is the threshold of spiritual energy, where what we believe becomes what we do. When that power is released, there is no stopping it, for love is a force that cannot be contained. Look and see the thousands of new faces gathering from every direction. There is the sign of hope for which you have been waiting. . . .
Hope lets us literally see the presence and action of the holy in our everyday lives. This is not an imaginary desire viewed through rose-colored glasses. It is the solid evidence of the power of love made visible in abundance.
Sometimes, in this troubled world of ours, we forget that love is all around us. We imagine the worst of other people and withdraw into our own shells. But try this simple test: Stand still in any crowded place and watch the people around you. Within a very short time, you will begin to see love, and you will see it over and over and over. A young mother talking to her child, a couple laughing together as they walk by, an older man holding the door for a stranger—small signs of love are everywhere. The more you look, the more you will see. Love is literally everywhere. We are surrounded by love.  This is such a powerful reminder to use a contemplative gaze to look at the world around us. Signs of love abound, reminding us of God’s essential nature