Yesterday, Barack Obama gave a speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King, Jr’s church.  He talked about hope and how it has characterized his life thus far.  Among other things he mentioned that he wasn’t born to wealth or privilege, but that he was given love, an education and some hope.

He goes on to say that his hope is not blind optimism or ignorance of the barriers and hindrances that stand in ones way, but, in fact, just the opposite.

“Nothing in this country worthwhile has ever happened except somebody, somewhere decided to hope . . . that’s how this country was founded . . . that’s how slaves and abolitionists resisted that evil system . . . that’s how the greatest generation defeated fascism . . . that’s how women won the vote . . . that’s what hope is, imagining and then fighting for and struggling for and sometimes dying for what didn’t seem possible before.  There’s nothing naive about that.  There are no false hopes in that.

Imagine if John F. Kennedy had looked up at the moon and said, “That’s too far – false hopes – we can’t go there”

If Dr. King had stood on the Lincoln Memorial and said, “Ya’ll go home – we can’t overcome.”

… change doesn’t happen from the top down . . . but from the bottom up.  It happens because ordinary people dream extraordinary things . . .”

While I’m not ready yet to take a stand on Obama’s politics, he does have my attention.  And I was moved by the power not only of his words and ideals, but by the stirrings of hope in my spirit.

Here’s what I’m hoping for the future; me, one ordinary person who is willing to live out my hopes in order to make an attempt to leave the world a little better than I found it.

  • I’m hoping that those who claim the name of Christ can learn to be like him in the small and beautiful ways that characterized His walk on this earth, that we will begin to love our neighbors as ourselves, that we will fight injustice and inequality and poverty because what hurts our neighbor hurts us.
  • I’m hoping that we will learn how to respect the earth and be willing to pay whatever price is necessary for a healthier environment for our children.
  • I’m hoping that we will learn how to fight injustice without violence and that we will learn how to live side by side with those who are different from us, that we will begin to understand that we are all in this together, and that we will realize it is not just our own children that we fight for, but the children of the world, who are closer to us than we imagine.
  • I’m hoping for peace on earth and good will toward men.

For further thoughts on hope, go here:
Hope 101: Believe it or Not
Hope 101: not disappointed again