Hope Beats with Strong Wings










Now we must look about us. Near at hand
cloud like a fist has closed on all the hills
and by this meager daylight on our land
we see just this, and this, and not beyond.

The sodden trees emerge and stand revealed;
we must acknowledge each one as it is,
stripped and stark, its basic structure clear,
the last leaves fallen, summer’s season dead.

And day on day the soft mist softly falls
as the long rain drives across the field
and all the while what we had seen beyond
is lost and shut as if it never were.

And we look closely at each other now,
the bleak roots, black grass, and the muddy road,
the litter that we never cleared away,
the broken flowers from a summer’s day –

Oh, stark and clearly we must look within
to weigh at last our purity and sin.

Oh, lovely hills in sunlight far away,
Oh, curving valley where the river sings!
Remembering, we live this discipline,
and hope still beats about us with strong wings.
~Jane Tyson Clement “November Rain” from No One Can Stem The Tide.










Stripped and stark — if fall and winter were the ending of all things, there would be no hope.
There would be no sun shining on the hills far beyond me to reflect back what is coming, and what has been.

When I am down to the bare and broken essentials — so bleak and muddy and the too-early dark — I seek the strength of the wings whooshing through air above me, alive, vibrant, purposeful.
I know this resting pause is not the end.  Never has been.  Never will be.






3 thoughts on “Hope Beats with Strong Wings

  1. “Stripped and dark…” you say, Emily. Two strong powerfully graphic words that need very little explanation or parsing for all who experience being stripped bare to the bone at times by fear, loneliness, temptation beyond our human ability and control to deal with it — and the darkness of evil assaulting our souls when we are lost and stumbling into unknown dangers without the light of the sun (Son) to lead us away, gently, lovingly guiding us safely back to Him — through Hope – and belief with the knowledge that HE IS ALWAYS THERE, WITH US, FOR US – AS HE PROMISES. As the Divine Shepherd, He knows the pitfalls, the danger signs and, most assuredly, He is acutely aware of our weaknesses, our wanting to wander off when we want to ‘go our own way’ at times, not realizing that there are entrapping brambles and unknown dangers ‘out there’ that seek to harm us, to lure us away from Him and the protection and unimaginable joy of the eternal life that he literally died to ensure that none will be lost as He presents us to His Father.

    Thank you, Emily, for reminding me of this truth about two of the perils that we all face on our Journey and what can happen when we stray from Him in search for ‘greener pastures’ and discover through our pain that none exist – except those where He is ever vigilant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post touched my heart in a deep way today and I have tears of hope in my eyes.
    Thank you, once again, and again, for your ministry here, as well as your physician ministry there.
    Victoria Block

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For some reason the “resting pause” is more of a challenge these days.
    I just dread these short days and long nights…so dark…so long!
    I yearn for a return of the long light of spring and summer and the warmth that comes with it.
    Yes, I know it will return, but in the meantime I feel the slowness of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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