Referring to the current world scene, one magazine writer used the phrase “rise in hate, kernels of hope.” I don’t deny the rise-in-hate part: it’s everywhere! But I prefer to point to the kernels of hope wherever I see them, particularly because some kernels become seeds that sprout and grow as others pick up the idea and adapt it to their situation, with a surprising ripple-out effect.
Often the hopeful kernels sparkle more in a local setting. Like 11,083 turkeys that Sacramento (California) television viewers donated. The givers drove to one spot to personally deliver their turkeys. Later, local families who otherwise couldn’t afford a Thanksgiving dinner arrived to receive the gifts. What was stunning was not just the number of turkeys, given within a two-week period, but the appreciative smiles and radiant faces of those who gladly stood in line to receive the food. The recipients included children, adults and grandparents of every background, many of them dressed in clothes that would not have distinguished them on the street. Hunger is real and pervasive. But so is “lovingkindness,” one translation of the Bible word hesed, covenant faithfulness and loyalty. The Scriptures use it in reference to both God and people.
Yes, there is plenty of hateful stuff to deal with in the world these days. But even in the midst of it, person-to-person giving and receiving can bring hope to one family at a time.
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