Hope

Kierra Jackson 4-01-2011

I started running because of my sister. Kim and I began when we were pre-teens. I believed running was the key to making me more like her -- 5 foot 9, lean, beautiful, and highly intelligent. There was one problem: I hated running. After forcing myself to do it for a while, I was disappointed. My dreams of who I would become were dashed, and all I got from trotting around was a lower resting heart rate and bulky thighs.

Years later, much has changed -- including my relationship with running. Following her multiple-sclerosis diagnosis in 2009, Kim, who was once a long-distance runner, has retired her running shoes. She hasn't hit the pavement in more than one year. I still run. Something in my spirit won't let me quit.

Last weekend, I completed my fourth half marathon in Washington, D.C. As I toed the start line, a story began to unfold. At 7 a.m., it was barely 35 degrees outside and still dark. I was surrounded by a sea of 16,000 people -- all of whom were present for one thing: to put their bodies to the ultimate test. This morning was all about endurance.

Ruth Messinger 4-01-2011
After my teenage granddaughter returned recently from a service experience in Uganda, sponsored by American Jewish World Service, she remarked that she would never again say she's "starving" on her
Sasha Adkins 3-31-2011

The April issue of Sojourners magazine takes on climate change denial. One challenge is that the truth is hard to face -- but, as scientist Sasha Adkins describes from personal experience, one strategy is to draw inspiration from the comforts of home.

The question that I am most often asked when I talk about my Ph.D. research on the impacts of pollution has nothing to do with my methodology or my data. It is, "How do you live with this knowledge? Where do you find your hope?" It's a good question. My research results on the impact of plastics on human health and the environment are often quite demoralizing to hear. More than once when I am presenting them, an audience member has literally started to cry.

I took a year off from my environmental studies program to search for the answer to that very question, to find hope -- but this time, instead of turning to peer-reviewed journals for answers, I turned to my cats. I asked them if they would be willing to try living without fossil-fuel heat for the winter.

Julie Clawson 3-30-2011
When I was in high school as part of my participation in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, I had to write what was called an "extended essay" -- basically an essay of the (then) extreme
Jim Wallis 3-29-2011
Yesterday morning, Tony Hall, David Beckmann, Ritu Sharma, and I began a water fast because of what I call "selectively cruel" budget
I believe deeply in the power of nonviolence, first as a Christian, and second as one committed to seeing the principles of human dignity, freedom, and justice advanced throughout the world.
Jim Wallis 3-28-2011
  1. Because I am an evangelical Christian and the root of the word "evangelical" is found in the opening statement of Jesus in Luke 4, where Christ says he has come to bring "good news (
Ernesto Tinajero 3-25-2011
Recently I found a story about a friend from seminary in New York Times.
Shane Claiborne 3-25-2011

Imagine what would happen if a massive popular movement of ordinary Americans decided to voice their concern about military spending -- by withholding $10.40 from their 1040 tax forms this year?

Rose Marie Berger 3-24-2011

In 2010, Hope House DC received a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C. to support participation in the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read project. Hope House placed about 100 copies of Earnest J. Gaines' classic A Lesson Before Dying in two prisons that have high concentrations of District of Columbia inmates.

During the past week we have seen both the worst and the best versions of Palestinian action.

Jake Olzen 3-23-2011

In a country torn by 30 years of war, where the promise of peace continues to be broken, despair and resignation seem to be the norm for Afghan society. War -- and its corollaries of social decay, poverty, corruption, and trauma -- does not discriminate.

Hannah Lythe 3-22-2011

I love words. They nourish me more than food. As a child (and even now, as an adult) I read novel after novel, losing myself in the characters, the plot, and the effortless descriptions of good writers. If I could swallow the New York Times, I would. (There are also many other fantastic newspaper publications out there; I'm not partial.) The discovery of Google reader has been my biggest internet distraction to date. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I'd rather the thousand words.

Bryan Farrell 3-21-2011

With all the recent and well-deserved attention on the work of Gene Sharp, it shouldn't come as any surprise that a film about the foremost living strategist of nonviolent action is soon to be released.

Ken Fong 3-17-2011
Jesus came to us full of grace and truth (John 1).
Julie Clawson 3-15-2011

Whether it was a brilliant marketing strategy or just a sad reflection of the charged atmosphere of Christian dialogue these days, one cannot deny that Rob Bell's latest book http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006204964X?ie=UTF8&tag=sojourners-20&li...

the Web Editors 3-14-2011
Lord, we pray that you bless our president and members of Congress with wisdom and right judgment.
Brian McLaren 3-10-2011

With all the angst about the economy, the deficit, and a looming government shut-down, I'm still concerned that we're treating symptoms rather than diagnosing the underlying disease.

I know something about this. I spent a week in the hospital last year having loads of tests done -- blood work, heart scans, stress tests, and sonograms. I was discharged without a diagnosis, merely with hopes that by treating the symptoms, whatever was wrong would go away. It didn't. It turned out my real problem was a tick-born disease, and once it was diagnosed, a ten-dollar prescription of antibiotics cured me. Without that ten-dollar prescription to treat the real problem, I could have experienced life-long disability.

Lisa Sharon Harper 3-10-2011

At the climax of The King's Speech, I held my breath with the rest of the packed audience and hoped to God that history was kind to King George VI.

Every Lenten season I give up something, usually chocolate. I sometimes fast for several hours during the day. Sometimes I read an extra book or two, usually on peace theory.

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