Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” –Thich Nhat Hanh
It is amazing what HOPE brings to our life. We talked so much about it that I think sometimes we loose the meaning of what exactly is hope. What makes hope different than faith, and believe?, and why this four letter word can move the world? According to my own understanding hope is the desire of something we do not have yet. It could be something we perfectly know, and can be described, or something unknown or abstract. The problem of leaving hope as a very abstract concept is that it can become extreamly broad and untangile, like the phrase: “I have hope for a better life”. To these, I will question myself what is to have a better life? My answers could be very different of what others definitions on better life is. Hope is as an abstract concept as it can be, but also makes our life strong, believing in what we do not have.
Last month when I decided to stay, I did it with a very low faith. I was started to doubt about the presence of God in my life, She was very silent and I could not feel Her presence at all. In a way I though I was loosing my faith. Since I stopped working for the United Methodist Church in July I decided not to go back to any church, I was angry with them, specially because of the way they pushed me away and never talked to me after serving with them more than nine years and a half and helped them started their Hispanic ministry.(when I say “they” I do not mean the whole members of the United Methodist Church, I am talking about the leadership). I felt abandoned, and pushed away in silence. It was like suddenly my name was deleted from their ministry, and all because I was celebrating my true identity.
So when my faith felt down, I stop believing. My hurfult heart blinded my spirit, and I could not feel His presence anymore. Honestly i did not wanted to go to any church, gathering, or community who will not accept me as a whole person, and because of my lifestyle I would never being able to serve among them. At the same time, after applying to more than 20 jobs, and receivng dozens of letters telling me that I was not chosen for the position; my faith in myself was in the lowest level ever. So I let go of my faith and stop believing.
“Hope is the power that gives us the power to step out and try.”
I stayed with hope, and I said to myself :” I will wait until the wedding of Paula’s brother, if I do not get anything I will move to Nashville, do my GRE, and if nothing comes out I will imigrate to California with my family”. There was still hope even though my bank account was going down rapidly. There was still hope, even though I was not getting any answer for the jobs I was applying. There was still hope even though my father went through surgery, and I was not able to go and be with him. There was still hope even though I lost my faith. There was still hope even though I stop believing.
But then something happened, a breaktrhough in my spirit. I saw my friend Julia Baker in an event in my town, and she invited me to her spiritual community (C2G-Come to Gather), and I accepted the invitation specially because I knew that Julia was someone who did not believe a lot in the many churches around, so if she found a safe place among these group of people, may be I could give it a try. So I did, extremly skeptical, but I stayed for the whole gathering. Last Sunday I asked Andy Williams (my new ecumenical-eclectic-poetry freak-real pastor) the one leading this group if he allowed me to lead the Lord’s Supper, because that day was going to be my last Sunday at Cookeville. To my surprise he agreed. When I broke the bread and blessed the cup, after 90 days out of any gatherings I felt an amazing cloud covered my spirit and soul, and suddenly I was eating again at the table with my Rabbi, and sharing His grace and love in the company of broken and raggamuffin people.
The wedding passed, and on Monday October 25th I was moving to Nashville, but then that night I recieved the call that changed everything. The organizing director of The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Right Coalition called me to let me know that I was highly recomended for the position of Eastern Coordinator for this institution. On Wednesday 27th, I met with the community leaders at knoxville for a second interview, and later that day I received the called announcing that I got the job.
HOPE is what sustained my faith, and the power to believe again. Is my faith totally restored? I do not think so. Can I say that I strongly believe? not at all, but I can assure you that “hope” is still trying to light the candle of my life, and my future, and may be I have also found a new family in the faith.
“Tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than on what they are and who they might become.” – Brennan Manning
“I want to congratulate my friend “Miguel Angel Carpizo-Ituarte” for being such a strong guy! He finally got a Job in Knoxville (a good one!) His dad is recovering after a leg surgery.. I am SO proud of you man, after all life is not a tough bitch! it ain’t matter where you go dude.. We still be “bros”
–Juan Carlos Vargas