Hope in the Midst of Contention


In the past few months, I’ve been thinking about the name of my blog. Sometimes it seems strange to call it “Slivers of Hope.” While many of the topics I write about—like mental/emotional struggles—have a clear connection to the title, others—like confronting bias in our traditions—don’t seem directly related.

The original title for my blog was, “You’re Not Alone… and I’m Not, Either.” But, I couldn’t work out a web address with that title that wasn’t already taken. So, even though I kept “You’re Not Alone” as the blog header,” I decided to use the domain name, “sliversofhope.blogspot.com.” I got that name from my first post. The piece was entitled “Slivers of Hope,” because, feeling hope for the first time in a long time, I “imagined the sliver as a broken shard of a mirror, a shard which could only reflect what it found in its narrow space.”

When I switched to my own “.com.” I asked a few readers what they thought about a new domain name. All of these readers liked the idea of sticking with “Slivers of Hope,” so I went with sliversofhope.com. I do like the name, especially that original image of a sliver of mirror reflecting something beautiful, but being dangerous if you clutch it sharp edges too tightly. Still, I have wondered if the title truly encapsulates everything I write about. Vice versa, when I write a more pointed piece about something I disagree with, I wonder whether it fits with the “slivers of hope” theme.

What I am realizing, however, is that the hope in my blog really comes down to that original title, “You’re Not Alone… and I’m Not, Either.” There are many different types of being alone. Lately, I have been most discouraged about feeling alone in thinking and believing differently. I wish there were more people ready to step back from their assumptions and “the way things have always been” (or even “just the way things are”). Even if many of those people step back from their assumptions and still come to disagree with me, I wish we could engage in productive conversation about our differing conclusions.

The other evening, I was feeling particularly disheartened. Then, a dear friend happened to text me. She said she’d been doing a lot of reading (including my blog) and realized how much of what we had once believed was pretty messed up. She mentioned how much my blog and our conversations have helped her as she breaks out of ingrained thought patterns. It was a timely reminder to me that I am not alone, even if there aren’t many people in my everyday circles with whom I can have those kinds of conversations.

Twitter really helps me with the “alone” feeling sometimes, too. The site can be an incredible mechanism for developing a network of people who are thinking deeply and critically about issues of life and faith. (It can also be a maddening exposure to black and white thinking and pointless provocation, so you have to be careful). It’s so encouraging to know there are others out there who do not take the status quo as circular proof of its own rightness. Translation: There are other people who don’t believe the logic of: “This is how things are… so that means it’s the right way.”

And so, this writing adventure continually brings me back to the original title of my blog: me telling you that you’re not alone, and you in return showing me that I’m not, either. And that, my friends, brings me hope. May it bring the same to you.

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One Response to Hope in the Midst of Contention

  1. Hebergeur says:

    And so did Jesus. At the last supper, the Passover, it would have been the custom to sing psalms, including psalms of complaint. Worship truly involves bringing every dimension of our lives to him, not forsaking the struggles of life to worship, but worshipping in the midst of our struggles.

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