Daily Word of Grace # 52 (May 27, 2020)

A particularly moving poem by the great nineteenth century poet Emily Dickinson is about something we all need, especially in hard times, hope: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.”  This song of hope from this bird is particularly powerful during a storm: “And sweetest in the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm that could abash the little bird that kept so many warm.”  Scripture also assures us of the reality of hope in God even in the midst of storms: “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19).  When the disciples were in the midst of a terrible storm Jesus appeared unconcerned as he slept, but when they called out to him, Jesus stilled the storm because of course he was actually concerned for them, as always (Matthew 8:23-26).  In the final stanza Dickinson emphasizes that this song of hope is a ubiquitous, free gift: “I’ve heard it in the chillest land, and on the strangest sea; yet, never, in Extremity, it asked a crumb of me.”  No matter how bad the storm gets, no matter what kind of “chillest land” or “strangest sea” you find yourself, God’s gift of hope, God’s song of hope remains ever present even in every “Extremity” you face.  Today may a different bird, the Dove—the Holy Spirit—perch anew on yours soul and encourage you with a song of hope that indeed “never stops at all.”

Love and Prayers,