Word of the Week

Moving in Hope

What does it look like to move toward hope?

I have to thank our music director, Ken for this quote that is now one of my favorites, "When they tell you that when God closes a door, he always opens a window, they don't tell you that it is hell in the hallway to get there."

In the same manner, the movie Shawshank Redeemption is one of my favorites. I tune in every time it is endless played on one of those cable networks even though I'm seen it 100+ times now. I watch it, again and again because as I do, new insights emerge.

Recently, while watching I was mesmerized by the scene shown for you below. It's near the end of the movie and contains one of the most hopeful scenes within this film. But I had never noticed before how long and how gross and horrifying really it was for Andy to get to the moment of freedom. I guess, previously, I'd just been so caught up in the emotions of his successful escape, that I forgot the journey it took him to get there (which is often what we do in real life isn't it?). But, wow, what determination, patience and courage Andy showed and freedom finally came. Finally.


Though we like to talk a lot in religious settings, about this word, hope with smiles on our faces, I have to think that it is messier than we think. Fear, doubt, abadonment are all words that are cousins of hope as much as faith and freedom are.

Sometimes living with hope means crawling through tunnels of uncertainty with the odor of the past making us want to throw up. Sometimes, we wonder where in the world hope lives, for it doesn't live at our address. Sometimes, we think our moment of freedom will never come for we've been chipping away at the same old same old for so long. Sometimes, as in the case with Andy, hope means literally making your way through 5 football fields worth of shit, the real stuff.

But, just as Andy modeled in this film, we have to keep crawling with hope that when we get to the other side, whenever and wherever this might be that something better will await us. Or, best stated by this film, "You better get busy living or get busy dying." This is the choice that moving in hope offers us.