No Hope

I had never stepped into a bar in all my life, but here I was, a foreigner standing in the middle of a dimly-lit entrance, asking for the manager. I held a handful of invitations to a musical play titled “Bow the Knee,” portraying the centurion at the cross. The event aimed to introduce our new community center to the neighborhood. Large, bold letters, “HOPE Renewed,” were displayed across the back of the invitation, announcing the presentations that would follow in the week after the play.

Any preconceived image I had of a bartender disappeared when a well-dressed, twenty-something girl approached me and introduced herself as the manager.

She fingered the brochure I handed her, turned it over, and studied the program for the next week. Sullenly, she shook her head, handed it back to me, and declared emphatically, “There is NO hope.” And there was no convincing her otherwise. I could only guess at what she had experienced in life. 

“Is this religious?” she asked skeptically. I told her it was the story of a first-century soldier and how his life was changed. She was not to be fooled. “Is this religious?” she pressed. I acknowledged the story was from the Bible, but a person didn’t have to be religious to learn from it. “Then I can’t go.” My heart sank as I wondered where to take the conversation next. But it really wasn’t hard.

Surprisingly talkative, she began telling me about herself, her interests, and what she wanted in life. She described her dream to teach Arabic, and by the time our visit was over, I had signed up as her first Arabic student. My prayer is to find out why her hope in life has faded and to point her to the real Hope Giver.

– An MEU Student