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  • Writer's pictureKathleen O'Brien

The Lens of Hope

Let’s be honest. This year has been far from ideal. On a communal level, some are bearing more of a burden than others. But this does not downplay nor cancel out each of our own individual hardships. For me, in the 28 years I’ve lived (yes, I know I’m still young), it has been the hardest year thus far.

This may be plainly obvious to most but for me I thought I would never feel this “low” as a Christian. Why do I feel such a lack of purpose and aimlessness? Why do I feel so lonely and confused? Aren’t I always supposed to feel meaning and happiness because I’m in relationship with God?

The way Christianity is often presented is the answer to all our unresolved questions or as some final destination. For example, accept Jesus and now you will have meaning in your life. Become Christian and all those uncomfortable and “bad” feelings will become obsolete. What I’m wrestling with and starting to discover is that Christianity is not an answer in itself but is rather an interpretative lens. I’ve been graced not with answers but with a Christian faith that allows me to seek an ever-deeper reality in those experiences of loneliness, aimlessness, and uncertainty. In other words, being a Christian does not shield us from the human condition but rather only heightens these feelings and experiences.

So, whether you are a Christian, Muslim, have no religious affiliation, or could care less about anything religious, know this: this life is always fuller and deeper than we think. And more often than not, it is in our “low” points that we touch upon something deeper. My Christian faith has given me the courage to dive in full force. It has not been a lifeline out of them. In the deepest dwellings of our experiences, may we put on the lens of hope to see the fullness of life and God’s unbounding grace for us.

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