We have seen the many faces of hope. It has met us along the way in a fascinating variety of sizes and colors. Giftlike and breathtaking, it has emerged with singing and dancing from many unknown and unexpected places. It has taken us through some very hard and bleak valleys in the years of our lives. And everywhere, almost always, the bearers of hope have been men and women, and children, too; some are still here now, others are gone, long gone, and yet still here.
When we hear the ancient testimony, "Our hope is in God," we know what that means. We have seen and heard and felt that God's hope has come into our lives through God's children, especially those who have lived, worked, prevailed, died, and lived on in the midst of magnificent struggles to create and receive a new life, a new community, a new hope.
We have found hope in Gandhi, in his humor, creativity, stubborn persistence, and disciplined search, in his commitment to the many levels of human liberation. Through him we are constantly challenged, inspired, called to unleash the miracle of our own lives.
Clarence Jordan was also a bearer of hope to us, walking directly from southwestern Georgia into our Georgia/Harlem/Chicago-shaped lives, encouraging us by the commitment of his life, patiently loving us, even when we were not ready to respond to his invitation to share life in Koinonia. Now he continues to be present to us, sometimes through the gracious ministry of Florence Jordan, often more directly still.