The Lightness of Hope

I wrote and preached on hope this week, the theme of the first week of Advent. Some readers/hearers have given me two terrific references to the "lightness" of hope.

Picking up on the line in GraceWaves "hope is a whisper," one friend wrote me the first stanza of an old hymn entitled "Whispering Hope:"

Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion, whispers her comforting word. Wait till the darkness is over, wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone.

Refrain: Whispering hope, O how welcome thy voice, Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

And from another friend came a poem from Emily Dickinson, "Hope Is the Thing With Feathers."

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.

Hope is the gentlest and most easily overlooked Advent theme, but it has great power. As "Red" puts it in Shawshank Redemption (a movie about hope): "Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things."

Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard,

Hope with a gentle persuasion, whispers her comforting word.

Wait till the darkness is over, wait till the tempest is done,

Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone.

Refrain:

Whispering hope, O how welcome thy voice,

Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

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