As a christian I have read and listened to 1Corinthians 13 countless times , so much so that I have nowÂ committed the entire chapter to memory. IÂ like to recite it and meditate on the meaning while evaluating myself to see if I am walking, working and living in love but that is a post for another day :). At the end of 1Corinthians 13, the author Paul says “…and now these three remain; faith, hope, and love”… my focus is on HOPE today.
Hope is expectation, it is a feeling/desire for something to happen and in the anti-trafficking field, hope is 100% essential. Someone asked me at dinner last week “how do you measure how successful you are in the work that you do?” And the more I think about it even now, the more I realize there is no clear cut answer to it… I take it one day at a time. Even if the women are suffering at the hands of lover-boys and/or pimps, even if they are struggling with depression and are very cranky, if the tourists are driving me nuts with all the leering and disrespect some of them exude, I have hope that things will change.
Hope that things will be better and that miracles will happen. To live without hope is to live in despair; I refuse to despair or give up because I know that things will change for the better! And now these three remain, HOPE being the first.
1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
13Â If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2Â If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3Â If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Â Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5Â It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Â Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7Â It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Â Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9Â For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10Â but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11Â When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12Â For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13Â And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.