Hope Never Fails
by Mary Frances Comer
There was a time when I considered hope to be both a blessing and a curse. Simultaneously a friend and enemy. And now, for nearly a month, I have been asked to contemplate on and discuss this topic (our monthly Quest theme) with others. I have chosen to be positive, but the truth is that sometimes, our hopes are dashed against the rocks and shattered there. Yet, if we survive, it is likely that hope will regain a hold on us. That’s right; I think that Hope holds us. We dance with hope. We take it to bed; we wake with it in the morning…. Hope holds us, and we cling to it in some sort of symbiotic relationship that keeps us going.
But my views on hope are changing. Hope isn’t an enemy. It isn’t hope that disappoints us. Life circumstances disappoint us. People let us down. We say that we don’t want “to get our hopes up,” but don’t we? Each day we live with expectancy and desire. We hope for a good day. For peace. For a good parking space. We hope to feel better. We hope to get things accomplished. We hope our ailing loved ones will improve. We hope our children will make good choices. We hope for work and play and rest and love. Especially for love.
The state motto of South Carolina is “While I breathe, I hope.” I believe this to be true. Even when we say we’ve given up on hope, there is a spark of it deep within us—eager to be fueled again—to spur us on our journeys. Hope is a part of who we are.
I believe that even people who choose to exit this life have hope. Theirs is a hope that suicide will end their pain. We live with hope, and we die with hope.
No more will I claim that hope is an enemy or a curse. In some time of discouragement, I was mistaken. My vision was clouded, but today my mind’s eye sees more clearly. Hope is the thing that saves us. Hope never fails.
Mary Frances Comer is a candidate for ordination with the UUA. She has served as a Chaplain Intern at a Level-I Trauma Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and she is currently serving with CLF as a Pastoral Care Associate. Mary Frances is a full-time college instructor as well as a seminarian.