My favorite poem about Hope is from Emily Dickinson. I recall my mom reciting the opening line, and then realizing later 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 BirdThat 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 it’s 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, hope can add an element of 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.
Today I want to encourage you with a word about Hope.
Daily life can drag us down. Maybe you wake up like I do, with expectations of accomplishing a large number of things – my lists are long! but somewhere after the day begins, I start to realize that I am a little too “hopeful” about how I am going to accomplish the day’s jobs – and I start to dwell in reality. The task lists get rewritten, and I settle on a more manageable “list” for my day.
Reading the news can drag me down. I try to get my news in small clips now – like twitter for instance. Reading large amounts of news, hurts my spirit. I just can’t do it. 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. I find that dwelling in the difficulties of our present our realities can bury me in discouragement and cause me to lose my focus.
Instead, I’m thankful for hope. The deeper knowledge that there is something far greater beyond this life 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.