“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” ~ Emily Dickinson
I have some pets that give me a lot of joy. Well, actually, they’re not my pets; but, they hang out on my deck. You see, several years ago I hung a birdhouse from a hook on the eave of the deck in front of my living room windows.
Birds have taken possession of that house and they treat me to a lot of entertainment. When I sit at the table on the deck and am that much closer to their home, they often come out, perch on the tree in front of the deck, and chirp at me.
Sometimes they scold me for being so close. (That usually happens after their eggs have hatched and they are coming and going feeding their young.) Other times, they chatter joyfully and come to the table to get what I set out for them to munch on.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” The birds at my deck remind me of that hope of which Dickinson speaks. They sing tunes without words and rarely stop their chirping. They fill me with joy.
So does hope. We nurse hope in our hearts and it sings to us in tunes without words. It serenades us with music that is unidentifiable yet familiar. It tells us that better days are coming, that a better life is around the corner. Those better days and that better life await us when we are called by our Creator to Himself.
Hope leads us when our vision is cloudy, nudges us when we need cajoling, and sustains our vision of what is to come. That hope was celebrated last week on Laetare Sunday. Halfway through Lent, we paused to focus on the hope that the Lenten season brings to us. We refueled on the joy of that day and asked God to give us the strength and grace that we needed to continue our journeys.
That was all appropriately planned by the Church. At this point in Lent, we might be wavering in our resolutions. We might be laden down by what we have promised ourselves we were going to do. We might feel as if we are disappointing God for not trying harder. We might feel as if we are not going to make it.
We’ll make it. The effort is worth our time. The journey is worth the sacrifice. Hold on to that hope.
FAITH ACTION: Look for the hope promised to us by this holy season and ask God for the grace to hold firm to your Lenten resolutions.