Today’s blog seems destined to be a potpourri of thoughts about hope. Before I was out of bed this morning, my radio told me about a new television program HopeShow.TV. I don’t think the website is quite as new as my blog, but it is still very young. Out of Dallas, TX, it features inspiring video stories of real life people who have come out of drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, or other challenging circumstances. They promote Operation Oasis which helps former prisoners, who find it almost impossible to make a living without committing another crime, to get their own home. They are trying to make a difference and give people hope of a better future.

While logging onto the above website I happened to notice a wikiHow invitation to learn how to make a baby romper out of a T-shirt. It immediately brought to mind the days when I was trying anything and everything in order to clothe my kids without any money. And I think today of the people who are considering abortion because they think can’t afford any more kids. What, after all, does a baby need? A mother’s milk, her loving arms, a couple dozen diapers (not the kind in the big box from the supermart at $40 per week), a few clothes and a dresser drawer for baby to sleep in. If there’s no Daddy in the picture to help out, there are people who will pay all expenses for the privilege of adopting the baby.

Whatever happened to hope? We live in such an affluent society that it is actually hard to find a needy family to donate outworn baby clothes to. As Hillary wrote, it takes a village to raise a child. Invite the village to help. Hope in the goodness of others. Salvation Army, Goodwill outlets and thrift shops are overflowing with good gently-used clothes and baby paraphernalia. Stop worrying about the cost of a college education! Libraries are full of free books, the world wide web abounds with more information than anyone can begin to process. There is no excuse for not learning about anything that interests you–FREE! No one really needs college. Don’t borrow trouble. Stop sweating the small stuff. Hope in a loving God who has the whole world in His hand. Just welcome the baby do your best.

As for wikiHow, it is “a collaborative writing project aiming to build the world’s largest and highest-quality how-to manual.” It is the most popular wiki after Wikipedia, read by millions in many countries. It welcomes input from readers and calls itself a do-ocracy which succeeds because it so open to everybody’s input. What a treasure trove of how-to-do-it instructions! Actually, the instructions on making a onesie for baby out of an old T-shirt seem so easy I am tempted to try it, baby or no. I even took the wikiHow tour. Is it not a source of great hope that WikiHow and Wikipedia can invite the world to collaborate and still flourish?

Lastly a quote from Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope), Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical:

Let us say it once again: the capacity to suffer for the sake of the truth is the measure of humanity. Yet this capacity to suffer depends on the type and extent of the hope that we bear within us and build upon. The saints were able to make the great journey of human existence in the way that Christ had done before them, because they were brimming with great hope.

We have been visited by Emmanuel (which means God with us) who taught us how to live, showed us how to suffer, and promised us eternal happiness if we follow Him.

Last hope: My robin was sitting on two eggs the last time I looked. There was a hard frost last night. I do not know if Robin frets about the frost, worries about the wind, or hopes for heaven. I cannot get my head around Robin’s little bird brain. She just does what she is programmed to do and trusts with whatever kind of trust a robin has. But I have the hope of baby robins in 12-14 days.

Men of Gallilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. Acts 1:11