I recently had a visit from a minister friend of mine. Our chat turned to books… of course it did. I had recommended The “Dearly Beloved” to her. It was one of my favorite books of 2019.
We entered into a spirited conversation about the meaning of HOPE. I took a literary point of view and she, a theological one.
I brought up the Wizard of Amherst, Emily Dickinson. How Hope “is the thing with feathers and perches in the soul.” I grumbled that hope seemed pretty FLIMSY to me. Even the sound of hope is too gentle for my needs. I went on to add, that I needed something more stubborn, more substantial, like FAITH.
Now that is a is concept I could stand behind. That I needed. Faith sounds like a suit of armor that will protect you when the going gets tough. And the GOING can get pretty tough.
Undeterred, she answered, “AH, But it is God who says … Faith, Hope and Love…” So we’re bringing Him into this discussion…Checkmate.
People ask me, “WHY, are you so positive?” Like it’s an indictment. Yes, I know I have no family. Yes, eating alone may not be fun. Yes it would be nice to have company. They often follow up, “I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store just weeping yesterday, don’t you ever cry?“ The answer is no. However, I WISH I COULD cry. Blame it on Elizabeth. I think she infused me with so much hope when I was a baby, it was just the gateway drug to faith and love. Besides, if I could unlock those tears maybe I would never stop crying.
Maybe it’s just part of my DNA, like survival. I have to have faith that I will join my family one of these days when my work here is done. In the meantime I have a village of friends that I LOVE!
Maybe hope, like exercise, requires doing, requires believing until it becomes part of your wardrobe. I don’t know. Remember, I lost that theological argument to my minister friend. As Sarge used to tell me as a child “that’s just the way God made you Leslie.” I wish he had made me taller. Prettier. With a more “generous endowment!” I wish he had made my gateway drug a “craft beer” that my “hipster” good friend drinks!
Maybe if we wear that flimsy slip of HOPE we can comfortably and more easily suit up in the armor of Faith. What is your gateway drug?