It’s easy out on the streets, especially in the colder months, to get caught up in the day-to-day struggle just to survive. But every so often, even in the waning months of a Maine winter, something different and more profound breaks through.
A couple weeks ago, I was talking with a Passamaquoddy woman outside the day shelter, and she said, “you know, Pastor, it’s faith that leads to hope, and it’s hope that leads to love.” I’ve thought a lot about all three of those words, but never as one engendering the other. But as I thought about it, I realized that she’d perfectly encapsulated a road map for the application of the two commandments that Christ emphasized -- the love of God and the love of neighbor. Faith in something larger (God) leads to hope for a better world, and this is expressed in the day-to-day by the love of others. But without faith in something larger, it’s almost impossible to find the love of others that is at the root of transformation.
Some days it’s all about socks and coats and boots and hand warmers. Other days, you get a deep lesson in theology that could only have been found in the stripped-down margins at the edges of society.