Young person looking out of a window with head in their hands. Window has raindrops on it and an out of focus street scene outside.

Hope is always in the future tense

The prisoner waits for release. The sick wait for healing. The lonely wait for a caring companion. The needy wait for relief. The displaced wait for a place to finally call home. And almost all of us, in one way or another, can name something missing for which we are desperately waiting.

During the 1970s, I remember my father walking me home from school one day and telling me that the war in Vietnam was over. He added, “There are still problems in some countries, but for the first time in a long while, there is no longer a real war in the world.” I was too young to understand the details of international politics, but I understood that my father and many others were hoping for peace. We know that this respite did not last. Today we are still waiting for peace, we hope for it, but it is in the future…

Whether because of individual suffering or an armed conflict that sows terror and devastation, we still cry out, “How long?” It is a cry we sometimes raise in despair. But it is a cry that we can, if we wish, raise with hope by addressing it to God, the only one who holds the destiny of peoples and nations in his hand, and who assures us of a final redemptive and just outcome, in the future.

Based on Psalm 13.1-2

How long will you forget me, Lord?

Will you forget me forever?

How long will you refuse to accept me?

How long must I wonder if you have forgotten me?

How long must I feel this sadness in my heart?

How long will my enemy win against me?

Written by Jonathan and Amanda Hanley – adapted from L’Ère du temps, a “thought for the week” based on current affairs, originally published by SU-France and SU-Switzerland.

Read the whole series here