Faith, Hope, and Two Feet on The Ground
The Latino attitude toward adversity is somewhat sometimes disconcerting for those who are not acquainted with the culture. How can this be? People may wonder. How can they look so relaxed, share a drink, listen to some music, tell jokes, clap hands and tap their feet when the whole world is trembling around them? Is that a mystery or a non-conventional philosophy of life shaped by a stubborn and defiant spirit born during the years of colonialism, resolved never to back down every time the wind doesn't blow in its favor?
There is always this hiding hope of tomorrow bringing a better day than today, hope that often times expresses itself as an innocent smile and a naivete look in the eyes. Latin American liberation theologians agree that this attitude has helped millions of people in Latin America to navigate through the atrocity of slavery, the tragedy of dictatorships, the catastrophe of natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, extreme poverty as a result of all that and now this Pandemic. Where do people get their strength? I think this is the question to ask.
I have had more conversations over the phone in the last thirteen months than I have had over the three years before Covid-19. The need for social distancing, the precautionary bans on travels, and the impossibility of gathering with people other than those in your bubble have dictated emails, virtual meetings, and phone calls as the safest way to communicate during this time. I have made many phone calls to members of the Spanish language congregation of Christ Church Cathedral, family members overseas, and friends.
I start most of these phone conversations with the usual question, how are you? To which people will give the very predictable answer, "todo bien, y usted? All is well and you? I only need to dig a little more to find out that things are not well, that people are just hanging in there. As I observe my own culture, I have learned that most people are not expressing an actual state of their present but their version of their future aspirations. Their hope makes them say in the present tense what they are hoping tomorrow will be from the perspective of Christian faith, which makes them, conscience or not, touch base with eschatology.
All will be well regardless of how things look now, and this thought is ingrained in Latin-Americans' Christology. As Cuban theologian Justo Gonzalez explains in his book Mañana, "There is, however, another dimension of mañana. Mañana is much more than tomorrow. It is the radical questioning of today. For those who control the present order of society, today is the time to build for tomorrow, and tomorrow will bring about the fruits of what they sow today."
Yes, tomorrow, I will see the fruits of my labor and my prayers, and my patient hope! With my feet on the ground and my eyes on the horizon, I will live to see a better day tomorrow.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Simón Bautista Betances
Every Member Canvass
If you have yet to make a pledge commitment for 2021 but are planning to financially support Christ Church Cathedral this year, please know that there is still time to make your pledge online, over the phone, or via email. We are so grateful for the continued support of the Cathedral’s mission in the year ahead!
Ways to make your pledge:
- Pledging online is easy.
- Return the pledge card you received by mail to 1117 Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77002.
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Learn more about this year's EMC at: christchurchcathedral.org/emc