ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. but the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is. it is what we all need - hope that comes not from going around suffering but from going through it. i am learning that the church has nothing to say to the world until it throws better parties. by this i don't necessarily mean balloons and confetti and clowns who paint faces. i mean backyards and basements and porches. it is in the flow of real life, in the places we live and move with the people we're on the journey with, that we are reminded it is god's world and we're going to be okay.
-rob bell, "velvet elvis"