“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain…” Hebrews 6:19
HOPE can be difficult for me to hold on to in these trying times. My son has been searching for a job, my son-in-law is getting a hip replacement at the young age of 30, and my dad is having trouble recovering from his own hip replacement at age 91. The list goes on.
I have words of hope. I have prayers of hope.
But how do I “do” hope? Show others (and myself and God) that I do in fact have hope? Will acts of hope help me feel more hopeful?
Well, let’s try it. Perhaps if we “act as if” we have hope, then real hope will follow.
In the meantime, here is a poem (I love poetry) that to me exemplifies the struggle of hope:
The Hope I Know
By Thomas Centolella
doesn’t come with feathers.
It lives in flip-flops and, in cold weather,
a hooded sweatshirt, like a heavyweight
in training, or a monk who has taken
a half-hearted vow of perseverance.
It only has half a heart, the hope I know.
The other half it flings to every stalking hurt.
It wears a poker face, quietly reciting
the laws of probability, and gladly
takes a back seat to faith and love,
it’s that many times removed
from when it had youth on its side
and beauty. Half the world wishes
to stay as it is, half to become
whatever it can dream,
while the hope I know struggles
to keep its eyes open and its mind
from combing an unpeopled beach.
Congregations sway and croon,
constituents vote across their party line,
rescue parties wait for a break
in the weather. And who goes to sleep
with a prayer on the lips or half a smile
knows some kind of hope.
Though not the hope I know,
which slinks from dream to dream
without ID or ally, traveling best at night,
keeping to the back roads and the shadows,
approaching the radiant city
without ever quite arriving.
Thomas Centolella, "The Hope I Know" from Almost Human. Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Centolella. Rtolella. Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press. Source: Almost Human (Tupelo Press, 2017)