“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
The other day someone asked me where i see signs of good news in Sudan. Whoa, i replied, good question indeed. I continued by talking about the persistent hopefulness of the people around us (in our area, primarily Dinka people). It doesn’t seem to matter what the current situation—tribal killings, political instabilities, drought—there is always something just beyond the horizon that will fix everything.
When tribal killings were ravaging the area last year, the upcoming election & referendum was going to bring everyone together, solving this problem. Now, tribally-driven revenge killings are rampant again, & i’m waiting to hear what the next hope will be. When i ask, people might say that the impending independence of Southern Sudan (Republic of Southern Sudan is the official name, by the way) will rally people toward peace, or maybe they might just say that if the rains come people will calm down. One of our Dinka friends remarked recently that the rains were not coming to our area because God was “properly annoyed”* by the recent violence.
In the end, i don’t know. But one thing i do more fully understand now is what the author of the opening verses was talking about. Or more accurately, the Dinka understand these verses much more fully than i can ever hope.
*properly annoyed means something a bit stronger than what a westerner might think. I think it’s something more like “thoroughly angry”.