15 August 2016

Signs of Blue and Hope

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 
Hebrews 10.22-25

When I am passing through a stressful week and feeling rather blue, there are reminders that I need to hear. I need to be reminded of the goodness, grace, mercy, and love that surrounds me in Christ every moment of every day. I read my morning scripture and am reminded through Hebrews, where I am currently reading. I am not lacking in those graces, and yet it is sometimes all too easy to numb myself to their presence and sink further into a darker hue of blue.

When a state of blue can be shifted to something brighter, there is hope again. Rising above the horizon with reminders that the light does come. Sometimes it is through the cracks, not just above the horizon, but we don't always look there. And it might require some changes, which means the lovely, smooth finish I had all sorted out will be jagged and rocky. My plan might not have come to pass. I am not ready to deal with that decision. I am not sure how to handle that situation. Several things pile up to a seemingly insurmountable stack. I hear the words in my head I know so well - that hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and never stops at all (to paraphrase Emily Dickinson's poem).

This is where faith comes in. I sit on my sofa after a whirlwind week, in an attentive attitude as the rain storm pounds around my home. Tea is steeping in a teapot and my heart finally grows quiet. It is not necessarily in the good days that we feel we need faith. We hardly think of it then, but as something shifts underneath my feet I find myself losing grip on that which  I thought I  knew, and all the questions arise in my mind and the wheels start turning and turning. As I try to sleep some nights my mind clutters with remnants of thoughts that linger. I land on the wispy strongholds of faith, a paradox in itself. Hanging onto that which requires trust that God is the ultimate planner and His plan is perfect.

May faith restore in me the joy of the Lord. Let me hear the words of hope, love, faith, and goodness instead of the chatter that can clutter a thoughtful mind.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - 
That perches in the soul - 
And sings the tune without the words - 
And never stops - at all - 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - 
And sore must be the storm - 
That could abash the little Bird 
That kept so many warm - 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land - 
And on the strangest Sea - 
Yet - never - in Extremity, 
It asked a crumb - of me.

Emily Dickinson

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