“I’m Hopeful in a Crazy World”

“I’m Hopeful in a Crazy World” You may be thinking that, or something like it, these days. Many of you have shared similar sentiments with me lately. Such hope is central to what makes Hillcrest Hillcrest and makes all we do God-blessed. That said…

These particular words are spoken in an interview recently posted by our colleagues at the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ. They are spoken by Vincent Wu who, as a young man, accompanied his father, Paul Wu, then pastor of the Chinese Congregational Church of San Francisco, to march with Martin Luther King, Jr. following the confrontation at the Edmund Pettis Bridge at which John Lewis, along with others, was beaten (as I write “beaten” I realize I write it only with regard to Lewis’ body; his soul and spirit were anything but). I commend the below interview, to you. Vincent Wu is still a member of the church whose pastor, Dick Hom, is the interviewer.

Mr. Wu says many things that connect directly with our times and with our faith as individuals, our work together as church, and our current worship theme, “Sacred Earth, Sacred Worth.” Among them is that we be “open” to our world, even as we are “wary” of what is going on in our world. Whatever is going on does not define who we are. We are “hopeful in a crazy world” and “our hopefulness is worth living for.”

I think it was the famous news anchor Walter Cronkite who in his final broadcast thanked the American people for inviting him into their homes and saying what an honor that was. Well, I can say the same to you and mean it even more strongly. Because of you, I am in the position of speaking and praying and crying and laughing with some of the strongest, most courageous and spirit-filled people that you or I will ever meet. And what I see and hear and experience regularly—not always; we all have our moments—is that sort of hopefulness and openness that Mr. Wu is talking about and embodying in his own life.

Sisters and brothers, the days and weeks ahead may be—pray not, but they may be—among the craziest and most hurtful in our experiment of democracy in these United States. We live in this nation and work for its good and for the good of all of its people. But we are not defined by it. We are defined, and held, by our God and our rich biblical, spiritual tradition of love, care, compassion, and faithfulness. We are hopeful—and we live for and live out our hopefulness—no matter the level of crazy. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. It, and we, are God-blessed.

I pray for nation with concern. I pray for you with thanks. Along with you, I pray and do all with hope.


Rev. Fred