Lenten Devotional: Hope by Marilyn Burwell

Over this Lenten season, the Spiritual Formation team at First Presbyterian Church in Bend put a call out to all to submit writings for a Lenten Devotional. I will do my best to post those here daily. You can also go to our website and access all of the devotions on a pdf file.

Here is the next submission:


Pastor Steven has been talking to us about Hope. I had an experience with Hope while riding the red train in Portland last November right after the election. There were two black men sitting across from one another. They really did not know one another, but they were talking in loud voices about the election. They were saying things like, “Imagine that! A Black man in the White House!” Their voices were full of joy and amazement!

Many people of color feel that a large part of the world is closed to them. They feel they will never be able to go to college because no one in their family ever did. They feel they cannot get a good job because no one they know has one. The affluent world labels them lazy or stupid. Latinos express these feelings of inadequacy, too. When someone gets a green card, it’s like the whole world opens up for them. They are suddenly Somebody; when they once felt they were just a Nobody.

The same feelings of inadequacy are common for those who live in poverty… whether white or of color. How awful that our white, wealth-dominated society makes people feel this way. Dr. Donna Beegle, a nationally known poverty expert, who grew up in poverty, has written a book that will soon be available in our church: See Poverty…Be the Difference. If we want to be the hands and feet of God’s Hope, then we need to understand more fully the struggles of all God’s people.

–Marilyn Burwell


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