In a world that sees chaos, injustice, unrest, and deep hurt, it is difficult for one to see the sun shining. I think one of the biggest hurdles we face as agents of justice, compassion, and reconciliation here at Wake Divinity is trying to find this sunlight. Think of the classes we take–many of them are heavy classes, talking about all the “isms” in the book. The hardest part about these heavy classes is that they never seem to get lighter. There are so many questions left unanswered, and that leaves us feeling unresolved inside, so we keep digging in the hopes that somewhere in our black hole, we’ll find the sunshine. But that’s the problem–we never give ourselves a break from digging. This can be admirable in some circumstances because it shows our unwavering perseverance and penchant for doing what we believe is right in the face of all that is wrong. But sometimes, we must step back, step into the sunshine, and gain a new perspective. We may find more hope than we were able to in the dark holes we jumped down, or we may just see the hole for the empty mess that it is. So where do we find hope when this happens?
Anne Frank writes, “The sun is shining, the sky is deep blue, there’s a magnificent breeze, and I’m longing – really longing – for everything: conversation, freedom, friends, being alone. I long . . . to cry! I feel as if I were about to explode. I know crying would help, but I can’t cry. I’m restless. I walk from one room to another, breathe through the crack in the window frame, feel my heart beating as if to say, ‘Fulfill my longing at last . . .’ I think spring is inside me. I feel spring awakening, I feel it in my entire body and soul. I have to force myself to act normally. I’m in a state of utter confusion, don’t know what to read, what to write, what to do. I only know that I’m longing for something…” (Diary of a Young Girl). Similarly for us, springtime is either here or quickly approaching (depending on the day; Winston-Salem weather tends to be rather unpredictable). We’re in a state of longing, and I believe that it is joy that we are longing for. This joy can only be found in the One who gives it, the One from Whom the sun shines. Look at the trees–the cherry blossoms that surround our beautiful campus, the daffodils that burst with butter yellow around the city. There is joy in nature. The pains of the winter are far from over, but we can choose joy by allowing ourselves to live in the springtime, a time of change, and a time of growth, knowing that, although there is winter, spring soon follows, and that’s where we can find hope.