This Thing Called Hope

Hope; An Owner’s Manual” © Barbara Kingsolver. Taken from “How to be Hopeful,” Kingsolver’s commencement address at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, May 11, 2008.

Look, you might as well know, this thing
is going to take endless repair: rubber bands,
crazy glue, tapioca, the square of the hypotenuse.
Nineteenth century novels. Heartstrings, sunrise:
all of these are useful. Also, feathers.


To keep it humming, sometimes you have to stand
on an incline, where everything looks possible;
on the line you drew yourself. Or in
the grocery line, making faces at a toddler
secretly, over his mother's shoulder.


You might have to pop the clutch and run
past all the evidence. Past everyone who is
laughing or praying for you. Definitely you don't
want to go directly to jail, but still, here you go,
passing time, passing strange. Don't pass this up.


In the worst of times, you will have to pass it off.
Park it and fly by the seat of your pants. With nothing
in the bank, you'll still want to take the express.
Tiptoe past the dogs of the apocalypse that are sleeping
in the shade of your future. Pay at the window.
Pass your hope like a bad check.
You might still have just enough time. To make a deposit.

What an imagination and apt description for those that refuse to give up and continue to hope, even when things look dark. “Rubber bands, crazy glue and tapioca” everything you’ve got.

Paul described hope as one of the greatest things we can have.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:11-13

Irregardless of what you may be enduring this week, this year, I urge you to hold on to hope.

And may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV

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