This is from an art installation called “A Religious Experience” and I couldn’t think of a better name. To get this view exactly, I had to lie on the floor in the middle of a totally blacked out room, trace the stray beams of light to its source, flooding in from the world beyond the exhibit, in spite of its overwhelming darkness.

There’s a thin line separating the meanings of hope and faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hope seems to fluctuate, at least at a cultural, social level. Ten years ago, all kinds of organizations were opening with ‘Hope' somewhere in their names. A presidential campaign was built on hope. Smartphones, hybrids, and social media started taking off, inspiring even more hope.

Fast forward to now and optimism is a lot harder to find. New buzzwords include phrases like “what happened?” But if faith gets to work when evidence of good is unseen, these are exactly the sorts of times when its wheels are in motion.

Beyond the darkness is light that will flood through even the smallest puncture in its skin. It’s a sacred experience, and it’s one that unites hope and faith in all those who believe.

Who gets the experience? Those on the ground. Those who will stand with the most vulnerable, even while nations turn their backs and close their gates. Those who continue to give generously to the most marginalized, while we show no signs of reducing our environmental damage that affects them the most. Those who believe that all this is worthwhile, even if it doesn’t always feel like a winning battle.

They’ll see a lot of darkness, but they’ll also be the only ones to see the light that pierces through.

Philippe Lazaroideal, ideal1