Concrete gestures

Publish date 10-10-2020

by Redazione Sermig

In the first place solidarity, gratuitousness, goodness.

by Andrea Bisacchi


In this time of total closure in addition to the refrain of washing hands often, we have seen everywhere the colorful slogan everything will be fine. We saw it on sheets hanging from balconies, photographed in newspapers, caught on television or written on the walls ... one day even our children drew it at the Arsenale della Pace.
But did we really believe it? I don't want to be pessimistic, but I have always wondered what motivations this statement was based on. I thought about it and I looked for it, I also asked some people but no one told me anything more than "everything will be fine because it can't always go wrong".

I understood that beyond that rainbow and that colored writing there was nothing but a vague optimism, an expression of all of us need to be reassured.
The optimism of "everything will be okay" makes you survive for a day, encourages you for a moment, perhaps exorcizes that the worst can come, but does not resist persisting difficulties.
For me, behind that phrase "everything will be fine" there is much more, there is the certainty of hope. The certainty that history is always guided by God towards the good of every man, the certainty that - as the theologian Bonhoeffer says - not everything that happens is simply "God's will", but everything that happens is used by God to fulfill his will.
Hope has roots that go far beyond our life, it is a gift that receives those who know how to empty themselves of their self-sufficiency and look beyond, look upwards. I live with hope because God gives meaning to my life and always gives it to me, when things go well and when they go bad.
Optimism is purely human, it has no deep motivations, it comes from the need for encouragement. The optimistic person tries in every way to avoid suffering while the man of hope knows how to live it especially in difficult moments, even in pain. You have optimism by nature, you choose hope.
Those who live in hope know well that in life not everything will always go well, but even in the midst of difficulties one can have a valid reason to continue living looking for a greater good, for oneself and for others.

Hope is not abstract, it is not vague. It feeds on signs that are like candles lit on a dark road. If I think back to the past months, I have seen many of these signs. Many meetings, especially on the phone, which made me understand the difference between a generic encouragement and a real hope.
There are many people who in this closing time have chosen to be a small or large light for someone else: who through a donation, who through a home delivery service of the food bag, who by making their skills available, who by donating time even just to talk on the phone with those who felt lonely ...
A supermarket manager has donated us the complete shopping for some families in need several times. A meat producer has provided free pallets of top quality goods to better pack shopping bags for Turin families in difficulty. And in a few weeks at the Arsenale, we went from helping 150 to over 1,200 a month.
A dealer offered us his courtesy car for free to deliver the food bags to those who could not move from home.
The guests of our reception, which from nocturnal have become residential, met every evening to pray together to the one God, each according to their faith, respecting each other.

Some families have decided to buy a dozen laptops for the most troubled children in our area who otherwise would not have been able to attend the school's online lessons.
I could go on but the pages of this newspaper would not be enough to contain all the gestures of concrete hope, small or large, that made someone happy, who "wrote" a message not on sheets or walls, but in the hearts of concrete people who they are felt accompanied and loved; a message that warmed the generous hearts of many donors and broke the monotony of days that are always the same.
I don't know if everything will go well in the future but, I am sure, as long as there are people who choose hope, even if not everything goes well, through those lives the love that comes directly from the heart of God will continue to be present in the world.

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