1The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved.
2Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. Psalm 93:1-2
Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
This is the opening to a famous poem by Emily Dickinson. It’s funny, when I remember the first line of this poem I always remember it as, “Hope is a thing with wings…” which makes me think that hope is a thing that can fly away at any moment. But Emily did not mean that. She describes hope as something with feathers yes but is perched in the soul.
Hope is part of us. We are taught to hope. Hope is a positive action word that keeps us looking forward even when it’s exhausting.
When I imagine hope like a small bird perched within me I don’t imagine it as something static and unmoving. A bird is alive, aware, and paying attention.
Hope is sometimes something that fills us up—completely involving all of our knowledge and senses. Hope is sometimes trembling and small but still there with the faintest of feelings. We were designed to be hopeful people. From our first breath of air we are children of hope.
This year the bird in my soul has certainly had its challenges! I don’t like the “not knowing.” I am a planner, a list maker. How long? How much? When? Why? How? This year has changed me, slowed me down, tempered me. I have learned to see the small things as important. From the smile and wave from neighbors I don’t even know to the cobweb strings that stretch from the ceiling to the candlewick on top of my TV cabinet, slowing down for the most part has been a gift to my hopeful soul.
As the Psalm above reminds us, “The Lord has established the world; and it shall never be moved.” I find comfort in those words. If there’s one takeaway from this 2020 pandemic experience it is that we think we can control everything. Truth is, we can control almost nothing! Therefore, hope is sometimes all we have to continue this journey of life one more moment, one more hour, one more day. Hang on tight to that tiny thing with feathers in your soul.