Yesterday it rained ALL DAY. I mean alllll day. Yet Marley and I made our way, umbrella in hand, outside for a walk with our neighbor friends. On the walk we were talking about this and that, finally for me to admit I’ve cut myself off from the world since around the election time. Limited news and social media has been my way of coping with some burnout…over-busy from a move, house renovation, at that time some heavy client sessions…and the news. Everyone knows mentioning the news needs no further explanation of the heaviness. When I told her I’ve been hiding away in a somewhat sheltered cocoon, she laughed and mentioned my privilege. Which, to an on-going “do-gooder” that urged me out of my hiding place.
I listened to news sources, peeked on social media…and you know what? It wasn’t pretty. Still. Shootings, hate, waiting for hope. It all felt very familiar and I had some similar thoughts and feelings come up. “what if we have another pandemic situation in the future? Why so much hate?...”
So in case anyone else needs some of this, I went back to a paper I wrote when in grad school on the topic of hope. This question of the future of things resonates with my past, when in grad school, I was freshly walking away from an internship at a women’s shelter in Tijuana. I saw so much injustice. I saw so much pain…so much waiting. The waiting part was the reason for my research. You see, I was at a point where my Christian faith was crumbling. I think I was also projecting some of my confusion onto the women, especially related to the waiting. How could this faith continue to promise the only sense of hope to be to die? Let me explain. Many Christians, when people are in pain, mention going to heaven. That is their ultimate hope. That answer no longer worked for me. Because the only hope was to die? But my question was how do we help them (or me) live NOW. How can we all find hope in our current day situations? So out came a research paper.
And what I’ll be sharing today is the introductory poem by Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
“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.
Hope never stops. My prayer is that we get to a place of leaning on hope. May we continue to hold onto it for ourselves and then also offer it to others. Keep rooting, everyone!