News – April 8, 2022

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston – Does Hope Spring Eternal

In another part of the world, a young, teenage girl looks up to the sky, a distant and now recognizable sound disturbs the quiet night in her small town. The moon and the stars fade into the background as she hears and catches a glimpse of the dreaded airplanes. They pass overhead, towards the volcano, about half a mile away. Other sounds reach her now as bombs start going off, she is either too young to fear or has simply become numb to her reality. More bombs drop from the sky…

Many decades have passed since then, but that memory comes back fresh to her. It is happening again, this time in Ukraine where Russia’s despicable attacks continue. Bombs are falling, many Ukrainians are dying, and the world watches. Elsewhere, life simply goes on.

“How might we reimagine hope in our troubled world?In this Sunday's sermon, Rev. Scott is asking us to consider this question.

On a heavy-traffic area of Houston, a man selling water bottles approaches me pointing to a faded, crookedly-placed $1 sign. I fumble trying to quickly get a bill before the light changes. I wave to him. He hurries. I give him the bill; he starts to give me the bottle. “Keep it for your next customer,” I said. I wanted him to know I appreciated his efforts in trying to make a living. He smiled so widely and did a small twirly dance. His happiness was contagious. I do not know his name but could not help to yell “thank you!” as the light changed, and I started to drive away.

Another day, at my favorite taco truck, I look at the different customers waiting for their orders. I notice each leaves with a smile after they get their food. “They must also know it is a good taco truck,” I say to myself. I reprimand myself inside my head as I think of the great food first and not the people who make it. When it is my turn, I understand. I also have a big smile on my face as the guy making and selling the tacos hands me my food and says, “Dios me la bendiga.” He asked for me, a complete stranger, to be blessed!

Our world is very troubled, conflicts exist, and war seems to never go away. Nonetheless, there are also sparks of hope. We can find them in the most unexpected places, in the humblest people. Perhaps what we can all do is be more attentive and realize a spark of hope is in front of us. It may come from a complete stranger, a child, an elder, nature, a pet. Just like many not-so-pleasant sentiments can be easily found, each day we need to remember… No, we must remember that hope can also be universal.

Esa es mi esperanza. (That is my hope.)

Thank you, First UU Church community, for helping us hope for a better world.

Alma at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

Alma Viscarra
Membership, Communications & Spanish Ministry Coordinator

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