From Jackie L. Halstead, ICS Managing Director
Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons…Hope…is not the same as joy that things are going well or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good. Hope is definitely not optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”–Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech RepublicI love that—“it is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart…not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense.” What a great way to be. But even better, recognizing that God is with us each moment, prompting and helping us “work for something because it is good.”
This semester I have the privilege of teaching an undergraduate course in the Tennessee Prison for Women. I taught a course there two years ago and was thrilled to get the chance to teach another. The course is Faith and Culture and is comprised of fifteen inmates and ten traditional Lipscomb students. It’s part of Lipscomb’s LIFE program that allows inmates to receive an Associates degree in six years. They take one course a semester in cohorts of about fifteen. Lipscomb students sign up to take these courses with the inmates and there is always a waiting list. The inmates in my class are amazing. Yes, they’ve made mistakes and they are paying the price. But God has opened my eyes and heart to the fact that they are people. They change over the years, just as we change. They develop, they grow, they grapple with faith and lean on God. I see hope in them. Some will not leave prison, but regardless, they pursue a degree. They want to learn and pursue this goal of an academic degree. I love being with them. I laugh more in that class than any other class.
I encourage you to work for something because it is good. May the God of hope continue to grant you this orientation of spirit.
Grace and peace to you,