Tuesday, 7 August 2012

hope and despair: opposites or points on a continuum?

Of Psalm 130, the writer of this morning's reflection in Disciplines says that the closing affirmation, 'O Israel, hope in the Lord!...' is 'the very opposite of the psalm's opening', 'From the depths I cry out, O Lord.'
I would argue that they are not opposing statements, but agreeing. For a cry from the depths to God is itself an expression of hope. If I had no hope of being heard, would I bother to cry out?
Perhaps the cry from the depths is only implicitly hopeful, rather than intentionally. In our performance theory class last week, as we explored discourse theory, we were pondering whether we fully experience an emotion until we can name it - perhaps hope, though somehow expressed and felt, isn't fully hopeful until we can name our hope as hope, at which point we begin to move on from despair and more fully into hope.

1 comment:

Anne said...

As a Christian, my personal response to despair is hope. I seek, in my despair, for what I can be hopeful about, reminding myself that through the creator all things are possible. Sometimes I have to force myself to find this hope, but when I do, I am helped to cope. I remind myself that I am a grain of sand and that all I can do is try. It is the trying, the doing what one can, that is important.