Monday, February 05, 2007

Keeping our hearts soft

Melba Maggay, in her book Transforming Society, observes, “There is something about the daily exposure to poverty and other ills of society which tends to tear away faith and make agents of change some of the most cynical people around”.

How do we keep our hearts soft and our spirits alive in the face of so many discouraging setbacks and difficult challenges? How can we stay hopeful when we are so often disappointed? Do you have a suggestion you can share?


Anonymous said...

Maybe, one way to persevere would be to not work alone, if you can avoid it. We might keep some hope when we are intentionally connected to others who care about similiar issues. Maybe then we can share the burdens, responsibilities and the occasional victories as well.


Chris Brooks said...

My tidbit would be to look reflectively at the devastation in our little pocket of the Chi. and try to see the imageo Dei in the middle of all of the crap. The neighborhood is full of diamonds; we often see the drama and miss the day-to-day assets: PEOPLE.

I would highly recommend reading "The Mystery of Capital" by Hernando DeSoto. It changed my world in regard to the issue you raise.

Peace, CB.

Anonymous said...

I suggest documenting the ways that you have seen God show up big or the small. Journal, pictures, or even just a list of events. I also keep all positive correspondence in a file. Letters, e-mails, thank yous that have shown the work of God. This can be a great encouragement to pull out when discouraged.
Lastly, I would suggest that involvement in your local fellowship of believers is a key. The stories of the lives around you that are being transformed from day to day can stand in stark contrast to the discouraging things that are happening.

Arloa Sutter said...
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Arloa Sutter said...

Great comments! There is so much hope in the middle of the struggles. Today a woman returned to our women's center after being awol for a couple of days and we danced around her and hugged her. I know she felt loved. It's tough when it we lose people to the streets. We have to trust that God is still reaching out to them somehow. A line that has really helped me and those who know me, know I repeat often is, "Be led by the Spirit, not driven by need." The needs are overwhelming, but the Spirit brings joy.