Tag Archives: despair

The Audacity of Hope

5 Nov

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 African-American Barack Obama has won the Presidential election and will become the 44th President of the United States of America.  It is an historic moment.

 

On the news an email from an Italian national was read, “This means that anything is possible in America.  Welcome back American Dream!”

 

After his victory was announced, in my breast embers of hope that I believed long banked, glowed and became a burning flame.  And I want to cry.  Not because I am happy.  But because I did not ask to hope.  I did not call hope forth or seek it.  Hope, for me, really is the cruelest emotion of all.  It is the hardest to endure.  Such a great hope as this victory signifies terrifies me.

 

On Election Eve my dear friend DJ called me from Chicago.  We have not spoken in months.  Since she moved as a newlywed from New York, she and her husband have purchased a large, beautiful home and their family has grown to include four children.  Six or seven years ago we were prayer partners and would pray fervently for her family and for me.  That I would marry and become a mother.  Even when we stopped praying together, knowing how greatly I desire these things, DJ was a steady source of encouragement to me over the years. 

 

When we talked two days ago, she updated me on news about her and her family.  She told me of all the weddings that were taking place around her.  I updated her on what was going on for me, and told her of all our NY friends who have had babies.  At one point DJ mentioned something about a wedding and me and I did not engage her on the issue.  I distinctly recall stifling the part of me that tried to assert the thought, “Don’t patronize me with talk of my wedding.  We both know it’s not happening.  I’ll never have children like you and your husband.”  I made some pleasant, acceptable Christian responses to all she said, and ended the call.

 

That I don’t want to talk about getting married with DJ, my friend, who only wants to continue to believe God for my future, is a very bad sign.  After that call I faced the truth of my waning hope; my diminished faith in God to ever bring my desire for marriage to fruition. 

 

I used to hope.  There were years of hope, with nothing but disappointment following.  Hope deferred has made my heart sick unto death it seems.

 

Many will say that being single and over thirty is good.  It’s Oh.Kay.  They will say that they are content and that they enjoy their lives.  I say, being single and over thirty is like being in the school yard and never being picked to play on anybody’s team.  It’s knowing the game is challenging fun and wanting to play; gathering with all the other kids on the field where the captains will choose their teams.  It’s recess after recess after recess of being passed over while watching other kids get chosen. It’s watching the others run, and catch, and get tagged out, while sitting on the sidelines knowing you would play just as well as they if only you were given a chance.  After a while the ones who are never picked stop gathering with the other kids.  We pretend that we don’t really want to play anyway.

 

Because I am still single, and for dozens of other reasons, I have urged hope to die.  But with this election victory, instead of dying, hope has unilaterally determined that it will live and grow.  It urges me to live and grow.  It dares me to believe that anything is possible.  Even marriage.