Skip to main content

prisoners of hope

"prisoners of hope"
paper collage on hardcover book board
september, 2011
gregory a. milinovich

i haven't been as prolific with my collaging recently.  i'll have to blame that on quin and the new zone defense.  still, i've had a few minutes to make a few things from time to time, and thought i'd share one of them today.  this is a new one i made called "prisoners of hope," which is a reference to zechariah 9:12, in which God tells the prisoners to return to Jerusalem, or to the city of safety, for they will be doubly blessed.  God calls them "prisoners of hope," rather than prisoners of the enemies. 

the phrase compels me:  prisoners of hope.  when we are suffering at the hands of some situation or some circumstance, we may think of ourselves as captives.  captives to stress.  to fear.  to anxiety.  captives to our financial hardships.  captives to our career situations.  prisoners of our circumstances.  surely we all suffer in some ways. 

but God may have a different way of framing our situation.  it just might be what led paul to write that the early Christians should rejoice even in their sufferings.  God doesn't call us prisoners of suffering, or prisoners of exile, or prisoners of our unfortunate circumstances.  no, God calls us prisoners of hope.  for it is hope that holds us in the midst of every trial and tribulation.  it is hope that sustains in the mdist of whatever prison we may find ourselves in, whether it be the very real bars of an institution, or the equally powerful chains of guilt or shame.  whatever it is that holds you in it's iron grip, God has a different way of looking at it.  hold onto your hope.  hold onto the idea that it doesn't have to be like this...that things can - and will! - change.  hold onto the reality that everything that is broken will, in time, be redeemed and made right.  even the situation you are in.  even the exile that you are experiencing.  even the anxiety that is costing you sleep.  yes, this too, will be made right.  believe it.  hope for it.  and be prisoners of that hope 

Comments

Greg C. said…
Love that.

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …