School of Hope

by | Oct 1, 2015 | 2 Those Who Mourn

2013-01-28_09-16-34_256Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
This Beatitude expresses hope that quickens the pulse, makes the young prophesy and the old dream dreams. Charged with wonder, defying prudence, opting for vision and plans amid the rubble of catastrophe, this hope only the heart can fathom.
It is not for those who have so much that they spend all their energies guarding their goods. It is most definitely for those who have nothing left to lose.
Do not play this Beatitude in a minor key. Do not plod it out like a funeral march. Hear its bright tones. Dance!
For this blessing promises comfort to the inconsolable. It promises home to those lost without compass or companion. It foretells resurrection.
Who teaches this hope? Not the high flyers who shine like the sun. They amuse for a moment, but if we stare at them too long, we lose our vision. Not the wise and stable ones who assure us that all will be well. Thank God for them. They teach hope of a tamer kind. But lessons on this audacious variety must come from a lower plane still.
We learn this hope from the underdogs, the broken ones, the ones with flaws for middle names. All play that part, really, but few acknowledge it.
Those few who teach audacious hope have the courage to face and confess their brokenness and grief. Those who teach this hope with their living do so through their daily dying. Free from striving to appear immortal, they drop their masks and offer beauty.
I am so privileged. How did I gain admission to their school? What test did I pass? Granted I worked to get there, but so much of that work, learning, and subsequent achievement really did not earn me a place in the class. I earned it after admission.
Their school is called, Psychotherapy, and the patients, not the therapists, do the teaching. They offer tutorials of hope under protection of anonymity.
Some teach in sobs. Some bemoan habits, tics, quirks, and losses. Almost all sigh long loneliness, but hope, however small, brings them there. They laugh in minor keys, cry in major.
There must be a God, One who loves them especially, who transports through them wisdom no doctoral program or long, silent retreat can train. Having attended their school for over three decades, the brilliance of their lectures still amazes me, still leaves me at the end of the day tired and satisfied that there is truth in hope and hope in truth.
This mystery keeps me young: that nobody renews my love for the human spirit and convinces me that we bear the image of a loving God like these wounded ones whose hope drives them to search for their faces and names, their peace and wholeness while they tell their stories to students like me.

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