By Lucy Johnson
Early in my career, I belonged to several professional organizations. We often worked on developing an elevator speech to use as a recruiting or marketing tool. The premise is, if asked, to describe your organization or what you do in 30-60 seconds which roughly corresponds to the time spent riding with someone in an elevator.
Years later, I learned that the directive to have an elevator speech comes from the Bible. In today’s second reading, St. Peter tells us to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 PT 3:15).
We know that hope doesn’t disappoint. Paul tells us that in Romans 5:3-5, “affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope doesn’t disappoint.” Last fall, WINE held a conference with the theme Hope: An Anchor for the Soul.
THE ANCHOR IS A SYMBOL OF HOPE
The first time I recognized the anchor as a symbol of hope was when I was walking the Camino in Spain 18 months ago. I met a younger woman with a necklace that had 3 charms on it: a cross, an anchor, and a heart. She shared with me that it was the only present she ever received from her father, and it represented faith, hope, and love.
A few days later in my journey, I came to Sahagun, the half-way point on the French Camino. I stayed at the Monasterio de Santa Cruz. That afternoon, the priest led us pilgrims in a reflection of our journey. He had many images and asked us to choose the one which spoke to us. One of the men chose the anchor because he helped a friend with whom he shared a love of sailing. I suggested, with my newfound knowledge, that perhaps he had also offered his friend hope symbolized by the anchor.
THE NEED FOR HOPE
Today, we need hope more than ever. We need to be anchors for one another. As I am writing this article (late March), we are in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak and sheltering in place. I am wondering when this pandemic will be over and when will quarantining be a distant memory?
In the Gospel reading today, Jesus promises us that the Father will send another Advocate to be with us always. Paul finishes Romans 5:3-5 with this, “hope doesn’t disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”
We have a reason for our hope which we must share, especially in these trying times, with anyone who will listen.
About the author:
Lucy Johnson lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband, Jeff. She has 7 children and 9 grandchildren. She is a pharmacist at Children’s Hospital and past-president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. (ACCW 2013-2015). Her love of travel has taken her to 5 continents including Africa and Australia. A “Martha” working on her “Mary”, she walked the Camino in 2018.