A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Yes, I have been hiding from you.  I did not fulfill my reading goal during March (but working on finishing the books for April, and am about 1 1/2 way done!).  So this post won't be about reading, but instead about Easter.

Unfortunately this Easter I will not be attending the sunrise service at the Lincoln Memorial, (see previous post here), but I wanted to talk about what Easter means to me: HOPE.  Hope in a future that is better, brighter, and more beautiful than yesterday.  Hope that renews and beautifies us, just like springtime does for the entire earth.

In a political context, hope is often considered foolish and impractical idealism - a false hope spread by politicians eager for our votes.  But I think politics can inspire us to create that better future.  True hope leads to action - action to help others and to give them hope and courage to face difficulties.

Is there a downside to hope?  Anne Shirley in a melodramatic moment once said that her life was a "perfect graveyard of buried hopes."  One of my favorite movies is "Shawshank Redemption,"  which takes place in a prison and has a bit to say about hope.  Red, Morgan Freeman's character, says this: "Let me tell you something, my friend.  Hope is a dangerous thing.  Hope can drive a man insane."

Hope can tantalize and torture us with things that can never be.  But that is only so if we put our hope in things that disappoint us.  I believe that Jesus is our Saviour, and in him we have hope for eternal life.  Elder James E. Faust said it well when he stated: "The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death."  ("Hope, and Anchor to the Soul," Ensign, Nov. 1999).

Later in the movie Shawshank Redemption, Tim Robbins' character, Andy, writes his friend a letter, saying "Remember, Red, hope is a good thing.  Maybe the best of things.  And no good thing ever dies."  Have hope!!  There is so much goodness in the world, especially when you step outside the bloviating blogosphere and picayune punditry of today's American political scene.  When we have hope, like Andy, we can share it with others, as he did with his friend Red.

Neal A. Maxwell said it better: "Being blessed with hope, let us, as disciples, reach out to all who, for whatever reason, have 'moved away from the hope of the gospel' (Col. 1:23).  Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down" ("Brightness of Hope," Ensign, Nov. 1994).

So, celebrate this Easter by rejoicing in HOPE!  If you're religious, read the two articles quoted above.  If you're not, watch the movie Shawshank Redemption.  Share hope with those near you (whether geographically or emotionally) who are laboring under heavy burdens - they are all around us, and they need our help.

(Tangent: The frivolous part of me also associates Easter with hats, and new dresses.  I liked the hat picture here.)