Friday, June 23, 2017

The Feathers of Hope

 Looks like hope is an important theme for us this week! I hope you'll find encouragement from this post and from Shari's earlier in the week. 
My favorite poem about hope is from Emily Dickinson.  I recall my mom reciting the opening line when I was a child. Later I realized that I loved the whole poem.  Here it is:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers – 
That perches in the soul – 
And sings the tune without the words – 
And never stops – at all – 
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – 
And sore must be the storm – 
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm – 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land – 
And on the strangest Sea – 
Yet – never – in Extremity, 
It asked a crumb – of me.

It has been said that Dickinson’s poetry has a similar style as the psalms and other religious hymns – perhaps that’s why I connect with her writing style.  It’s flow appeals to me, and her metaphor here speaks to me visually.
Hope in its simplest form is a bit shallow.
“I hope it rains tomorrow.”
“I hope my daughter buckles her seatbelt.”
“I hope you feel better.”

But if we dig a little deeper, real hope adds to it expectation.  When hope combines the idea of wanting something to happen with the idea of expectation, whether because of past results or sheer faith, hope becomes so much more meaningful.
Psalm 3
Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; any are saying of my soul,“There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! 

For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord your blessing be on your people! Selah

Our greatest source of hope is through our Lord. The Savior of heaven and earth, Creator of the world and lover of my soul.  No matter the good and wonderful things, or the difficult and sometime tragic things we experience we can stay steady and remain hopeful knowing that He is in control of it all.
There’s so little hope in our world, and because there is such little hope people turn to evil.  The evil is rampant and overwhelming.  
How grateful I am that there is something far greater beyond this life that fuels me forward.  While there are many wonderful joys in this life, it cannot compare to the hope of our future in Glory.  We should share hope with those around us.  Not a flimsy, shallow hope though – let’s share the reason for our Hope – our expectation of a future more wonderful than we can even imagine.

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