Have you ever noticed that in our blog posts and newsletter the “H” in the word Hope is capitalized? This isn’t a typo or grammatical error that has gone unnoticed. It is a purposeful and willful acknowledgement that Jesus is the Hope in Bright Hope.
Without Jesus, Bright Hope would be like a hundred other non-profits trying to do some good. But with Jesus, we shine and can proclaim to the poor Jesus’ message of salvation and eternity with Him.
From my many friendships with the extreme poor I have noticed a difference between how we view Hope. Now Jesus is a constant, He doesn’t change who He is or how He relates to us. But, I believe the level of poverty or wealth we experience effects how we perceive Jesus.
Let me explain.
If you are in a wealthier area of the world, that is, if you make $60 a day or more (that is $21,900 a year or more), you are considered “rich” by all world standards. Those of us in this category of wealth tend to view Hope with an eternal perspective. Jesus is our Hope for heaven and a never-ending relationship with Him.
In other words, we concentrate our view of Hope as leaving this world when we die, or Jesus returns, and experiencing a timeless joy and peace in heaven with Him.
But the poorest Christ followers in our world have a different view of Jesus. It is like they are standing on other side of Jesus, viewing Him from His other shoulder and seeing parts of Him we can’t view from our wealthier perspective. They have a Hope that is different because they are poor and have great physical needs.
Hope for the extreme poor is the promise that Jesus is their Rescuer from the present pain of hunger and hardships, from sleeping on a thin mattress on a dirt floor, and from the cold night air.
Poor believers wake up every day wondering if Jesus is going to help them get the nourishment their families need to survive. Are the school fees for their children going to get paid? Is there going to be medicine to help their loved one recover from sickness? Is Jesus going to show up and provide for today’s needs? There isn’t energy to think about eternity when today has presented so many problems of its own.
In some ways, I admire the way the poor are totally reliant on God for everything and every moment of every day. I can easily go through my day forgetting God has provided for my nourishment, medicine, schooling for my children, a roof over my head, and heat from the cold outside. But I don’t want to forget—I want to walk with Jesus more closely and maintain a mindset of daily dependence on Him.
I think observing the poor’s daily dependence on Jesus has helped me to be thankful and to avoid taking what I have for granted. The more frequently I give and get involved in the lives of the poor, the more I grow in my perspective that I need Jesus for every moment of the day.
So, yes, the capital “H” in our name stands for Jesus. But it is also a reminder that He is the Hope for the poor and of the rich, for today, tomorrow, and eternity.