In moments when we are truly alive, we experience life as gift. We also experience life as surprise. Faith is the heart’s response to life as gift. The heart’s response to life as surprise is hope, as we shall see. The more the insight that life is freely given takes hold of us, the more our life will be a life of faith, a life of trust in the Giver. … The more the insight that life is surprising takes hold of us, the more our life will be a life of hope, a life of openness for Surprise. And Surprise is a name of God. --Brother David Steindl-Rast in “Hope: Openness for Surprise,” in Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer, p. 123.
This book is one of four that I am reading for my next session of Two Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, which starts tomorrow. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was reading it through a time of uncertainty, and Br. David gave me much to consider.
I also mentioned here two weeks ago that we had recently learned that my husband’s brain tumor is malignant. However, being short of space, I didn’t go into much detail then. How about hearing the rest of the story? Or at least a little more of it, anyway?
Hearing “malignant” may have sounded like a time bomb in the beginning (see Something to Ponder … October 8, 2017), but it turned out to be a surprise we could truly be grateful for. His particular type of cancer involves a co-deletion of the 1p and 19q loci, which has been shown to respond favorably to both radiation and chemo. People do survive having this type of cancer. Thanks be to God!
Br. David also writes: hope is rooted in the very mystery of the Triune God. The Father from whom we come and to whom we go is “God of hope.” The Son in whom we live and who lives in us is “our hope.” The Holy Spirit, God’s very life within us, gives us the power to hope, p. 132.
God of Life, God of Faith, God of Hope … may we trust you enough, have faith enough, and hope enough that our lives will be open for Surprise. May we experience gratefulness in all surprises. Amen.
Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat