Pastor Noel posted the following commentary in the E-Tidings newsletter of the Community Church.
Here just before the mid-term elections we are all thinking about what we “hope” will happen. Hope is an increasingly precious commodity in our life together. Rev. Amy Thompson, the relatively new Senior Minister at The Riverside Church in Manhattan, tells this story about hope:
I recently heard a Radiolab (public radio) episode that tells the story of Alan Lundgard and Emilie Gassio. Two twenty-one year old art students, they were living the dream in a loft in Brooklyn and studying art and basking in the glow of young love… One day on her way to class Emilie was hit by a truck. In the ICU, clinging to her life, her parents and Alan kept vigil around her bed.
For weeks they waited for her to recover, with few signs of hope. The doctors were getting ready to discharge her to a nursing home where she would likely spend the rest of her life. But Alan thought there was hope. He insisted, “She’s in there, she just can’t get out.” Emilie had hearing loss and wore a hearing aid. Alan in desperation tried something he’d read about in a story about Helen Keller. He traced out on her arm the words, “I love you.” Emilie immediately awoke briefly and responded. But when more proof that she could really recover was demanded, Alan tried putting in her hearing aids and turning them on. Suddenly, when that happened, when she could finally hear, everything changed. “Just by hearing your voice,” Emilie said, “I came back.”
At the end of this touching story Rev. Thompson asks simply, “Where are you hearing hope today?”
I hear hope when I listen to our Bell Choir, the Bells of Hope, play. Despite the comings and goings of different members the bells ring on!
I hear hope when I go to visit a church family and we say grace around the table together.
I hear hope sitting in my office at church and the MTA train chugs by: hope for commuters that they soon will arrive home….hope for our congested metro area that mass transit can work better than driving solo into the city.
I heard hope a couple Sundays ago when we baptized a baby with her family all gathered around…. I heard the hush of the Holy when we all shared a sacred moment. God was here.
But mostly I hear hope these days when someone lovingly reminds me to listen for hope in my life. Isn’t that kind of what we do for one another in the church… remind one another to listen? Thank you for helping me listen for hope!
Faithfully yours --- Pastor Noel