The theme in February at First Parish Church in Taunton is Hope. I have been thinking a lot about Hope and Faith lately. This story, which I told at our Time for All Ages, came from that thinking.
This is a story about three sisters – Hope, Faith and Love. I think their parents might have been hippies. Every day, the sisters work to fight injustice. They march against unfair treatment. They help kids being bullied. They sit with parents with sick kids. They help families struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table.
Each morning, Hope wakes up first and, in her wee happy voice, she sings, “I hope today will be a good day.” Her cheery optimism helps get her sisters up and ready for the day. The sisters sing together over breakfast, hum while washing up and dance while getting dressed to start the day. Bellies full, clean and neat, the sisters head to the door. Sometimes Hope’s sunny mood dims a little as she considers their work ahead and the challenges they might face. “I hope today will be a good day, but I am not sure.”
Faith chirps up in a voice strong and determined. “I have faith that our work matters. I have faith that things will get better.” Hand in hand, the three sisters set out to protest, to protect, to educate, to feed and clothe, and to heal the broken places in the world. They march arm in arm. They speak truth to power. They hug and cry with the suffering. They sing with the brave. They keep their hands busy with their life giving, world saving work.
The sisters have many friends and partners, but not everyone welcomes them. Sometimes they meet people who put them down. Sometimes they meet people who push them down. Sometimes they are even beat down. In these dark times even Hope’s optimism and Faith’s determination waiver.
Love in usually pretty quite. Usually she shows her strength with a gentle touch, a loving smile or a warm embrace. In the dark times, when the sisters are at their lowest, she shows her true power. “Get up!” she shouts. “Stand up!” “Keep moving!” When the sisters are almost at the breaking point, it is Love’s power that brings them through. Love reminds them why they work so hard every day. Love reminds them of all the wonderful people with whom they struggle. Love reminds of all the beauty they work to protect. With Love, they rise. With Love, they push forward.
And so the sisters work together each day. We will find them when we work together for justice. We will find them when we act with compassion. We will find them when we stand up and we will find them when we are shoved down. Each contributes in their own way to help us do what we know is right.