So I bought the field in Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel, and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver…
What’s hopeful about buying a field, unless you’re a high-liquidity buyer in an urban market c. 2010? The prophet Jeremiah purchases a field while he is (1) in prison (2) in a city under siege by the army of a foreign superpower. Even if seventeen shekels is a steal (the exchange rate is unclear) it’s not a good look. But it’s a symbol of hope. Jeremiah commitment to live in a state of hope, to live as though impossible goodness is coming. Hope offers a sense of vision to see beyond the present unendurable events. Jeremiah buys a field because “houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.” Even though his nation-state is about to collapse, he insists upon the eventuality of restoration. He insists on resilience in the face of becoming a resident of a new and hostile country.
Takeaway: Commit an act of hope today: invest in something you will not see to fruition. Plant (literal) seeds. Give lavishly to someone who may not be responsible with your gift. Do something that takes the long, long view. But whatever you do, trust in its eventual reality. Jeremiah committed to the hope while he was in a prison in an imprisoned city. What would it look like for you to hope that fiercely?
Gathering the Stones is providing 40 days of Lent reflections on resilience. Check back for new reflections every day (except Sundays).
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