From Resilience to Hope
A friend once gave me some books about resilience, which they say is the ability to adapt to adverse situations with positive results. While you might think that all people are resilient in some way or another, I believe that not all of us have the same ability to move forward, or have sufficient confidence in ourselves, or, at least, a desire to get back on our feet. In fact, depression is becoming more and more notorious as a sort of “pandemic” that stalks people we know, such as family, friends, co-workers, even people who are socially expected not to suffer from it, such as the consecrated.
Like a kind of humidity in an environment, depression creeps unnoticed into all our structures, our provinces, houses, community life, and even into the very heart of people. It makes us think that nothing makes sense anymore, that this is not going to change. It makes us believe that it is much better to keep everything we have as a kind of agony until magically everything disappears or even death brings us some respite.
God knew how to put in my life people who have been an example of resilience, people who lived through extremely strong pain and knew (from that pain) how to stand up and walk, wounded but moving forward. They were the ones who taught me that it is possible to get through, even when it seems impossible to overcome reality.
However, what happens when we have to be by the side of those who no longer have the strength, whose vision has become so blurred that they cannot see those possible solutions, when many times it does not depend on us but on external factors that go beyond our strength? When all this happens, I am surprised by that biblical phrase that says, “Our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Thus, we cannot be mere wayfarers, God calls us to be believers and when this happens there is a leap from resilience to hope, because hope does not look at our strengths, our dreams or abilities, but only at that trust in the God of life who is able to raise the dead.
As a member of this Little Company, many times I have looked only at my reality, my context, or my history and many times I was wrapped in disillusionment thinking that there was not much left to do, that the structure was old but almost impossible to modify. I had to become a vocational promoter and see that for many young people the Gospel proposal was something that had no place in their lives. But as God goes beyond what one can think, today He makes me look at new realities and discover a “Company” that many times is not so “Little,” not because it is big, but because God continues to accompany it. In every profession of vows, in every ordination, in every project that a confrere, a province, or even the Vincentian Family itself carries out, the Lord gives us hope. It makes us stop looking at our “abilities” to focus on “trust,” in that it does not cover our weaknesses, but allows that even with them God is the one who puts us on our feet.
May the Lord not allow us to be merely resilient but lead us to the path of hope, the hope that makes us see his presence even in the greatest depression.
Hugo Marcelo Vera, CM