We watched Defiance last night. It's a really good movie about a WWII Jewish resistance group who lived in the forest to escape the concentration camps. Definitely try to see it.
In one scene, this young couple is married in the middle of a cold, wintry forest in the middle of a war. They are a hunted people. They've all seen unspeakable horror and unbelievable pain. They've lost their families, and many would assume, their hope.
But they haven't.
They are living. They are getting married. They are dreaming about the future. They are defiantly living in hope.
I think that's what we're trying to do here. (Not to draw parallels between our situation and those of Jewish people in WWII -- obviously there isn't a lot in common.)
But, by taking children who are broken and thought beyond repair by many, and doing what we can to heal and restore them, we are standing up against the darkness and proclaiming, "You have no claim here. This isn't yours. You cannot steal, kill, and destroy this precious life, for it is a treasured child of the King."
It is an act of defiance.
I believe we all need to live with this kind of defiant hope. The suffering and pain in the world is too much to bear if we just let it wash over us and we retreat to the safe corners of our lives where we hopefully can hide out of its reach. We need to know we fought. We need to know our lives mattered.
This doesn't mean there's a prerequisite of moving to another continent. I'm sure there are signs of hopelessness and suffering all around you. Think there's not? Look a little deeper. Maybe its a single mom trying to pay the mortgage and the food bill. Maybe its a teenage friend who has been talking of suicide. Maybe its the old man at the nursing home who never has anyone to visit. There is suffering all around us.
And each instance of suffering is really an opportunity. An opportunity for us as Christ-followers and Kingdom-builders to defiantly live in hope and push back the darkness threatening to engulf.
What are you waiting for?
PS: After writing this, I thought of the perfect photo illustration. But some background information first. Jacob's childhood friend David and his wife Nicole sponsor Leah at our foster home. For Christmas, they sent her the PERFECT Christmas present, and they put pictures of her opening it on their blog. To see Leah's smile and the excitement and self-worth that radiates from her as she enjoys this present... well, I think that these photos are pictures of this kind of loving hope in action. David and Nicole believe they can make a difference, and look at the stunningly beautiful effect on one little girl.