Thursday, November 1, 2012

Emily Was Wrong

“Hope is a thing with feathers,” Emily Dickinson said.

I think she was wrong.

Now before you decide I’m a complete Scrooge, let me explain.

I understand what Ms. Dickinson meant when she inscribed those words back in 1861. I’ve felt it—the fluttering, buoyant phenomenon that hope can bring. The flicker of light in the dark, the feeling that your heart might just take flight. Something that seems so fragile, yet soars with strength unseen.

And so yes, I do understand the comparison to a bird.

BUT, I think hope is much, much more. I think she was almost there. She even went on to speak about Hope’s strength in the midst of a storm

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird

Now these, the lesser-known lines of her famous poem, are the ones that speak of the hope I’ve come to know. A song that keeps singing in the storm, right when you need it most. And more than that? An anchor in the storm.

Hope is an anchor for the soul. Heavy, steadying, strong and steadfast.  It is God speaking out of the storm, offering refuge of truth.

Look at this line from the final chapters of Job:

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the Storm. He said…” Job 38:1

It goes on, page after page, with reminders of God’s strength, His wisdom, His love. Those are weighty things, aren’t they? Things that can anchor us in a storm, still us from our thrashing, cover us with refuge.Things that gave Job hope for joy that would come again.

Ah. Now that is hope. Hope that speaks of eternity, of the One who gave His life for me, of the One who will never leave my side in all the tempests of life. The One who will still my soul, lead me beside quiet waters, restore me, carry me, lead me.

Hope is a thing that at once anchors us and sets us to flying.

Next week, Georgianna Wentworth will commandeer this blog from a place that never was, in 1903. That is to say, my fictional character will pay us a visit. And in her words, my desire is to paint a picture of this hope…

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

Join me next Wednesday for a peek inside Georgianna’s heart as she grasps to take hold of this hope? It will be my entry in the 5-day Hope Chronicles blog hop, and I have a few surprises in store to give away as reminders of that beautiful, anchoring Hope.

For more details on the Hope Chronicles, click here.


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