A journal reflection at the end of Day 2 of the Taize Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth in Red Shirt, South Dakota.
Our Scripture studies have touched, in our small groups, on listening, despair, and hope: "Behold, I am doing a new thing" (Isaiah), and the appearance of the risen Lord on the way to Emmaus in Luke's gospel.
As we in my group discussed our respective relationships with hope - and its obstacles - it become clear that despair often comes out of our inability to right the wrongs of the world. One approach/response offered in the group was to refrain from judging the world, and so to resist calling things "wrong" in the first place. But as we continued to speak about these things, we came to reaffirm that the scriptural witness of lament and grief is a gift to the Church, that we might speak to God honestly from our places of pain. We observed how the risen Lord listened patiently to the disappointments of the disciples with whom he walked on the road.
As we considered this story's ending - the acknowledgment of burning hears and the discernment/recognition of the risen Jesus - we named the hope that generations of Christians before us prayed for and taught us: not that we would be spared a world in which our children suffer (and cause suffering) but that they and we will one day see the face of God.