Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Bucketful of Hope

This time of the year when the ground is crusty and the wind cuts through you even in South Carolina—I remember a poem that always lifts me up. Everybody I know needs a bucketful of hope. Carlyle Marney said one time that the problem is that too many of our buckets have holes in them. Nevermind. This poem I share with you may help plug up the hole in your bucket—and maybe nudge you down the road just a mite.

Temp Sparkman and his wife faced a terrible ordeal years ago. One afternoon in midsummer their little nine-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. Weeks later, with little preparation, she was gone. They faced the terrible task of trying to pick up the broken pieces of their lives and try to live again. Later that year this young minister wrote this poem about hope in a terribly hopeless time.

“Was the grass really ever green
Were the sounds of birds really clearly heard
And did we picnic in the park only six short
  months ago
Here in mid-winter they seem so far away
The naked trees, the leaden skies seem always
   to have been
And seem out ahead for all time
Were things really ever green
And will the spring come back again?

Yes the spring will return
The gray, dull days of cold will pass
The routine now imprisoning us will be broken up
A new excitement will be awakened by new possibilities
The despair which now engulfs us will subside
A word of hope will come to us
Our presumption that all is lost will be replaced
   by a renewed expectancy.
Future will become a possibility again
The crush of demand will not dominate us forever
Out of liberation w will learn to choose
And in our choices to be secure.

The sadness now weighing upon us will be lifted
Joy will speak her acknowledgment of grief and
   will sound her call to us
The cause of sadness will not have vanished
But joy will come in spite of it
We will laugh again
We will sing and dance
We will celebrate the life now given us.

The conflicts now engaging our energy will be
   worked through
No wind will sweep them from us
We will go through them
   and we will survive
Redemption will come of our transactions
Relationships will be rescued and restored
And where breaks are too deep to be one,
Healing will come in time, though apart
The tension tearing at our being will be resolved
We will not be destroyed.

Were things really ever green
And will the spring come back again
Yes, yes, as sure as e’re it were here
Yes, yes, as sure as winter’s here
Yes, yes, as sure as God is
The spring will return
And it will be green again.”

And if I had a benediction it would simply be: I hope this promise of spring will help us all.

(I first wrote these words for my Springtime blog two years ago. This is one of my favorite poems and I would like to share it with you again.) 

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