April 25, 2013

Thursday Thought: What Gives You Hope?

Emily Dickinson noted, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without words and never stops at all." Alfred Tennyson wrote, "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier'...” 

For me hope usually comes in small parcels and portions. Sometimes, though, a large dose of hope settles into my heart, delivered by an angel friend who urges me to believe in myself and pursue my dreams with gusto. Other times it flutters into my day in unexpected sentiments expressed by my family. I find that I'm doing a bit better in my relationships than I'd supposed. 

But most frequently I gather those small parcels and portions all on my own, deliberately seeking them out. Yesterday, hope filled me when I chanced to see a single red tulip with petals reaching heavenward. The flower was the only one of its kind in sight on an acres large lot. I thought of its winter solace, bulb buried in the cold earth waiting for the anticipated warmth of spring. Then giving its best when that warmth arrived. Last week hope came from conversations I was privileged to have with people in several different states; a research project that is teaching me about the inherent goodness of others. This morning hope shone on rays of early morning sun--a brand new day with brand new adventures. 

How thankful I am for each day of life God gives me!

Sometimes those parcels and portions of hope are few and far between. And sometimes I get pretty discouraged, my hope dormant like a tulip bulb in winter--mostly sleeping, with only a mere glimmer of awareness that things are likely  improve. But then, in my searching, I stumble across a way to help someone else or to touch a life for the better. Realization is rekindled: I have purpose. I can make a difference. For me that's the best kind of hope.

What gives you hope?