Hope in a Bleak House

His college’s name is Hope and he always
felt a bit uncomfortable with it; it just
didn’t have the ring of Yale or Princeton
or Harvard or even Thornton Jr. College.

It sounded kind of corny and is the butt
of bad jokes like, “Do you hope to graduate
from Hope?” and “There’s no hope at Hope,”
and “All those who enter here, abandon Hope.”

Clever, huh? But then he thought about the
pioneers who named the school and the struggles
that they had and how bleak life could be in
the swamp lands along the shore of Black Lake

and through it all, they hoped. That was a
hundred-fifty-years ago and the school is still
going strong. As he thinks about the bleak
conditions of global warming, islands sinking

deep into the sea, wars and rumors of wars
and all the fear and animosity, a sensation-
alism loving media, fear mongering politicians,

downright ignorance and a heaping fork full of
malevolence and hate, he thinks that’s not such
a bad name after all — “Hope in God, our help
and our God,” and “God, our anchor of Hope.” I

guess if it was good enough for the Psalmist
and the Hebrews and those intrepid, Dutch
immigrants, it’s good enough for him especially
in this Bleak House we call our home.


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