"From out of the chaos of fragmentation, the isolation of illness and disability, the lack of a future, a spirituality of hope moulds and shapes whatever will keep the flickering candle burning. It may be that the grand dream does not materialize yet; as Isaiah and his followers grew to understand, the constant reshaping of hope in new situations was the prophetic task. It may be that there is not an end to the darkness, only a way of seeing in the dark, only lighting a candle within it. But that is why we keep the feast, in ceremonial time, Sabbath time, mythic time, the time of telling the stories that give substance to our hope.

"Like the children of the project Wells for India, in a desert area of Rajasthan. These are children of local prostitutes, some kidnapped from many parts of India. The chances of their growing into adulthood without being sucked into prostitution are slim. But these children are full of life, have dreams of being doctors and lawyers and teachers, and the name of the project is Asha — the Hindi word for hope. They remind us of the words of a contemporary Israeli poet:

'Darkness is not all,
Nor war the last word;
Not by a long shot, or a short.
The children speak it;
The last word, Hope.
Hope; the children.
The child.'

"Children as bringers of hope are a vibrant witness to the words of Brazilian liberation theologian Leonardo Boff:

" 'As attested to by all the cultures and civilizations the world has known there is a principle of hope at work wherever people have lived that generates great excitement and utopian visions in spite of the fact that of the 3,400 years of recorded human history 3,166 were years of war, and the remaining 234 were years of preparing for war.'

"With this as our history, hope cannot be anything else but outrageous."

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