Looking Ahead, Feeling Hope
It was a long winter in Berlin-Kreuzberg this season. Before Advent and Christmas, I was looking on my computer screens – following the political news and campaigns back in my country of origin, the United States. As I prepared and sent in my ballot, I was quite anxious about the election results. Would “we” Americans or citizens of the world witness a change in Presidents? And how would Americans and others react to the eventual results? Well, nearly all of us are aware of recent historical events: the denials, the bellicose rhetoric, and the riot in January in Washington DC. In retrospect, I was rightly anxious, although there was nothing I could have done to influence or change what occurred.
While self-isolating in my small Berlin apartment, I looked ahead from the events of the 6th of January toward the new president taking office on the 20th. Despite the threats and violence we had experienced up to that day, I felt the stirrings of a different emotion: hope. No matter which side of the binary Americans sat on, it was at least possible in theory for each to feel some hope for the future. A change in administrations was taking place. New people with new ideas and new styles of governance were stepping into office with clear plans to make changes. The turbulence and tumult of one leader was being replaced by another leader’s proven civility and compassion. It might be possible that this look ahead would bring about hope. Hope for a different and perhaps better future.
After a year of quarantines, limited travel and the tragic illnesses and deaths of millions of people from COVID-19, I am looking ahead and seeing other people starting to receive vaccinations. Healthcare workers and seniors are now receiving disease-preventing injections – potentially saving the health and lives of millions more people. As the first signs of springtime weather start appearing outside my window, I can look out and find tiny signs of hope. I see my neighbors walking with their youngest children to the local kitas (preschools). I look on the television or online news to watch good news about loosening quarantine restrictions as the number of new cases falls. Although all is not clear when I look outside of my four walls, what I can see causes me to feel hope. Finally. I pray that you can also look ahead from where you are today and feel hopeful for the future. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Amen.
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