I was recently listening to an interview with Shane Claiborne, and he shared the following anecdote about two men discussing why pain and suffering exist, "...one guy said, 'You know, I wonder why God allows all this poverty and pain and hurting in the world?' And his friend says, 'Well, why don't you ask God that?' And the guy says, 'Well, I guess I'm scared.' And he says, 'What are you scared of?' He says, 'I guess I'm scared that God will ask me the same question.'"
Last month, I sat in a conference room with some of the coolest people in Hastings. I don't remember the exact statistic, but in Hastings High School there are 40? (maybe higher) known students who are homeless and parent-less. These teens float from couch to couch, finding their own food, and giving themselves direction.
And this conference room, full of the some of the coolest people in Hastings, don't think that's right. They are passionate about creating a space where the lost, not only find stability and love, but are found.
And it's really beautiful.
Last year I interviewed a volunteer, who said she wanted to be a mentor because, "No kid gets to choose the family/home that they grow up in. But every child deserves a chance." Everyday our office hears stories of 17 year-olds who keep visiting their mentee, even though they have bad hygiene, or they have been abused, or they get defensive and say hurtful things.
And I think I'm among saints.
Sometimes I get discouraged when I hear people comment, 'That's just the way things are.' It makes me sad when I hear how much money goes into Christmas decorations, when people in our own community struggle to afford the basic necessities.
Then, I get a chance to watch humanity elbow deep in the process of redemption. And that's enough to make me hope again.