Hope vs faith

Every year my family meets up in Regents Park at the same time, same place. There are a lot of us (my grandparents had 15 children which makes for a lot of cousins…) and so the outside space works for us.

This year it was against the backdrop of Cabinet resignations, Trump protests and a heatwave.

It’s easy to find it difficult to feel positive with all that going on. It’s easy to find the world a little overwhelming.

This year we came across these folk. A group of Spanish friends who seem to meet on an occasional basis to build human pyramids. They had some equipment, but apparently it’s strictly an amateur effort. They just do it for laughs and to build friendships. Or at least that’s what the D’Souza troops that we sent to investigate/interfere came back with. The ‘pyramiders’ had a range of ages and, judging by some very risky wobbling, a range of abilities.

There is a lot of trust working with strangers. It involves – and I think this is an important distinction – hope rather than faith. I was chatting to someone about this last week and I think it’s important if you are leading a team to reflect on the difference. I’ve seen people demand faith – too early and with little substance to make it a fair demand.

I’ve also seen people who are dealers in hope. People who show a possible way forward that gives others something – a vision, confidence or space – that allows them to hope. Things seem possible with them about.

Hope might spring eternal, but keeping enough of it flowing to help people think that the task at hand is achievable… Well, that’s a more useful endeavour than asking for faith.

There are no short cuts. Stick with hope until people have faith that their trust is in the right place.

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