Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hope comes from within

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
                                         Emily Dickinson

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.
                                         J.R.R. Tolkien

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
                                         Hebrews 11:1

they came in herds
their cars blocking city streets
cutting people off from care

they came waving flags of hate
flags illustrating cult-like allegiance
they came carrying guns

they came screaming
faces angry

why did they come?

was it really about “freedoms” or the “economy”

or was the driving force really

and these acts
a rebellion
against an insidious and invisible power,
that holds them fast in a painful and deadly grip?

Perhaps they were driven by a need to do something
to fight back against their grief and fear

it maybe they are not all that different after all
from those who huddle in their homes
and scurry to the store, masked and cautious

perhaps they are us
all of us
our souls screaming against this violation of
health, and joy, and hope

how can we have hope against this grim reaper
who stalks our nursing home
and plucks off the old and vulnerable?

how do we survive this?

I have been thinking about hope a lot lately
as I see our world, our country
struggle with malevolent forces

with not just this virus
but all those viruses of the soul
a lust for power

it is a ugly time
a cringe worthy time
that drives us into hopeless

as evil prospers

but still, in spite of it all, there is hope
that thing that perches in the soul and sings

that mystical reality that rises in our souls
as persistently as the sun rises above the horizon each
morning, and scatters the darkness

the thing about hope
I am coming to understand
(alas I am a slow learner)

is that it is not tied to external things
it is not even about a good outcome, at least not in the “here and now”

it is mystical
and lives a life of its own

and it has to do with presence
that presence deep within us
at the center of who we are
at our course

of something, someone
good, loving, kind, generous

the presence of one who holds us

hope comes from within
from that inner Sacred presence
that means that no matter what happens around us
we are never alone
never unloved

and hope gives us a different place to live from
when we hope, we live hope
we live love
we live peace
we live kindness

and when we live hope
we give hope

and hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5)

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