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Oh, To Have Hope!

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Yesterday we prayed for the Poor Souls. Today let us pray for the millions of Poor Souls who live throughout the world WITHOUT AN OUNCE OF HOPE.

In the novel and movie The Shawshank Redemption, a lifelong convict nicknamed Red, keeps telling his fellow prisoner, Andy, to stop talking about hope since in prison, hope is a dangerous thing. 

It’s better to live without hope than to have a hope that will torment you by virtue of it’s not being fulfilled. 

But then at one point in the story Andy barricades himself in the warden’s office, flips on the Shawshank prison P.A. system, and plays a portion of a Mozart opera, bringing the entire prison to a standstill as each prisoner listens to the aria. 

And even Red, the one who resisted all talk of hopes or dreams, could not resist this spot of beauty. 

And so Red muses, “I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singin’ about. I like to think they were singin’ about something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. 

I tell you, those voices soared, higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away. For the briefest of moments, every last man at Shawshank was free.”

Thanks to Scott Hoezee for sharing.     Thanks to Unsplash for the picture. 

For 5 hours 20 years ago I bounced around on a path along the sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic as we went from town to town. In my nice air-conditioned SUV hundreds and hundreds of Haitian faces without an ounce of hope peered into my eyes inside the SUV, their noses pressed against the window. All their faces were so hallow, that I wondered if there was a soul inside their bodies. Were they searching to find  hope in my eyes?

These Haitians all came from Haiti to the DR looking for a better life, but they were dragged into a life that was much worse than they had. If they try to improve their life by raising a chicken or a goat, they will probably be killed along with the chicken or goat.

They all cut sugar cane for 50 cents a day as did their parents and grandparents….as will their children and grandchildren. Not one of them had ever heard “what those two Italian ladies were singin’ about….something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it.” 

You and I can criticize millions of people near and far from the United States for unsettling our lives with their demands on us. But have YOU lived YOUR entire life without hope? What would be in YOUR mind and heart right now if YOU had never, ever experienced hope in YOUR life or heard those two Italian ladies singin’? 


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