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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hope Raises No Dust

Someone dear to me once gave me a little cross adorned with roses. It bears the inscription, "Hope raises no dust." I looked at that phrase and tried my best to penetrate its mystery. I didn't want to look stupid, so I didn't say anything. After pondering it for a little while, I just had to get to the bottom of what it meant. It had been written on a cross, so it had to mean something! When I typed "Hope raises no dust" into the Google search engine, I found out that the phrase was originally uttered by Paul Éluard, a French poet associated with Dadaism. When I looked up Dadaism, I found this definition: "The Dada movement tried to express the negation of all current aesthetic and social values and frequently used deliberately incomprehensible artistic and literary methods." I then read some of Éluard's other famous quotes—quotes like "Elephants are contagious" and "Earth is blue like an orange." All of this brought me back to "Hope raises no dust." Everyone believes hope is vital to people, but most folks' hope is about as vague as the Éluard quote that is painted on that little cross. But for Christians, hope is not vague. We have a hope that is historical, personal. We know a hope that stands in front of the empty grave of Jesus and clearly preaches, "You, too, can live as Jesus does!"