“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be.” -- Saint Augustine
"Give him a chance," they said. "Hope for the best," they encouraged. "Don’t overreact," they chided.
All around me, well meaning Christians repeated phrases they themselves had been told.
At first, I tried to listen. I repented to God for my anger towards my brothers and sisters that voted for him.
I focused on trying to imagine why and mustered up some compassion, even.
But still, the anger returns. And returns.
As a white woman in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, I have not had to come face to face with many of the injustices and atrocities that have occurred in other parts of the world.
For a long time, I sat under teachers and pastors that simply reinforced my limited view.
I felt safe in these parameters set before me, and for years, any time my conscience tried to convince me otherwise, I shoved my ‘flesh’ down into shameful submission.
My idea of hope at this time, was centered on my own comforts, safeties and salvation. But then, God smashed that idol.
In the span of ten years, I lost a baby, my health, my church, my closest friends, my house and my American Christianity.
These losses opened my eyes to the greater reality of the world.
Death, medical debt, betrayal and homelessness happens to the just and the unjust.
This necessary stripping away of false comforts and ideologies opened up my heart to a greater compassion and camaraderie with fellow sufferers I had never felt before.
It opened my eyes and ears to the voices from the margins.
It awakened me to a life that was not about self-rightness but the messy work of self-sacrifice.
Hope now, has a new meaning.
It is not about me.
Not about my white feelings or my deliverance.
It is not about my comforts.
It is not about the approval of the church.
My hope is wrapped up in the deliverance of others.
My hope is in the imago Dei of all peoples to be respected and heard.
My hope is in the true gospel to deliver.
Fueled by the righteous anger of systematic injustices, encouraged by the brave words and actions of Jesus.
My hope now has feet.
Anna Tesch has been married for 16 years, is the mother of three in betweeners, a daughter to supportive parents, a sister, an aunt, and a friend. She works for her local school district, volunteers in an organization providing food for low income students, cooks while listening to records, cuddles babies in her church and writes as a recovering evangelical. She is developing her skills as a photographer and a mixed media artist.
You can find some of her work here and follow her on twitter here.