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Where Do We Find Our Hope?

As we enter another 5 weeks of sheltering-in-place (for some of us), and for our loved ones in facilities in lockdown, where do we find hope?

Last week I read in the Chicago Tribune about Anthony Gay, who as a young man, was placed in solitary confinement for 22 years. His original crime was stealing a dollar bill and a hat but ongoing behavior problems landed him in solitary confinement.

In doing more research on Anthony, I came across an article from January 11, 2019, written by Jackson Cote and Peter O’Dowd for radio WBUR. The article “22 years in solitary confinement: Looking at the life of former inmate Anthony Gay.”

The article talked about Anthony cutting himself frequently so that he would be sent to the infirmary. There the nurses would care for him, clean off his wounds, bandage them, and offer kind words. Anthony said “I wanted to know I was human. I wanted to feel alive.”

I felt crushed reading those words and trying to imagine 22 years in solitary confinement. Anthony said the cell was no bigger than a parking space. To go to those lengths to feel “human”, to feel “alive.” What would you do to feel human, to feel alive, if you were in Anthony’s place?

So, my question to you is how can we not treat others with respect and love? Do you judge according to outward appearance, skin color, perceived disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and yes, political party affiliation?

Anthony said in the Chicago Tribune article, “Hope must set fire to pain.” Beautiful! Where does your hope come from? My hope comes from the Lord!

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