“Hope is the thing with feathers” – Emily Dickinson

Here’s that feathery
thing called hope again

hopping broken-winged
by stained glass as if

it could sing anew what
once in dawn’s Easter light

drew eyes to see
what the blind cannot.


Here it comes, ungainly, careful
of metal shards, rusty gins

of despair, pain-heaving,
the cover drawn

over buried
septic spaces, tucked fast

in stoic dissension
against bruised faith’s cries.


How can it be, yet it is, that limping
hope approaches still in song as if

broken wings can yet embrace
a feeble soul, shy now of inflaming

prayer yet unanswered, pinions raised
uncrippled, as if what’s seen is the unseen,

the King upon his Throne with the wounded
by His side to raise to heights unknown.

Matthew 12:18, 20
“Behold, my Servant … a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not quench ….”

Romans 15:13 (NIV)
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.

Painting by Tamara Natalie Madden (1975-2017); for more on this artist and her work, click here.

28 thoughts on “Hope

  1. Hope, that’s the engine that can light up a life, yes? Hope, an even better restorer of vision than daubed mud. I know something about being at odds with, and limited by one’s own body, and I read that in your “pinioned arms”. The mistake I have tried to stop making is in thinking that this body is ME, because it isn’t, it’s just my circumstance. I was sick a lot as a child, endless doctors and such, and though I have been a healthy adult, when you spend an entire childhood feeling flawed and wrong and less-than, it doesn’t just vanish presto. Something will remind me of things I couldn’t do, and I feel a rush of shame before I talk myself through it. Paul thanked God for the “thorn” in his side, because it gave him humility. I’m still trying to be more like Paul in that regard, and to be grateful for the place in life where hope has led me.



    1. “Hope, an even better restorer of vision than daubed mud.” Amen. All your insights, Shay, including the shame, the “feeling flawed and wrong” ring so true to me now. How much more difficult as a child, the fruit being the hard-won wisdom and fortitude you have now. I love the way you put it. Hope shines the way through the lessons of humility and indeed makes us more like Christ Himself (Phil. 2) and Paul, content that the thorn should prick thus so and in such a way as to make our weakness a place where Christ’s strength is made perfect in us. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s