Shout-Out to Hope

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.
--Emily Dickinson

I've been thinking about hope.

Hope gets short shrift because it doesn't have the flashiness of faith or the fire of passion. It looks rather ordinary, pale and old-fashioned, and is confined to church pews and grandmothers' attics, gathering dust along with other once-admired jewels.

Hope has been shamed for its soft ways and quiet words. It says, "Some day," and "maybe," and "could."

But hope is what keeps people from dying inside. Hope sustains life. Hope endures change. Hope waits, when impatience and selfishness fight for first place in line.

Where faith is too loud or too bright, there is hope. Where faith cannot take root for shallow soil, there is hope.

Even in the rain, hope looks out the window. It hums a tune, counts falling stars. Without hope we would have apathy and despair. We would never try. We would never begin a thing. We would never consider what life could be.

We would leave miracles to giants of faith. We would never think to dream.

There is no such thing as false hope. Indeed, hope gentles the soul through endings just as much as beginnings. Without hope we could not turn off a light, close a door, or bury someone we love.

Hope lies low, stays out of trouble. You have to coax it out of hiding. But once you see it there standing by your side, you realize it has never left you, and never will.

Write about the role hope has played in your life.

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