Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Spiritual Thursday: Hope

Hello STJ Friends,

I hope you are well. Ruth has given us a beautiful jumping off place for Spiritual Thursday with a look at a quote meaningful to her by Henry Nouwen.

Often, I ask students to identify verbs in our lesson objectives so that they can see what we are doing in our learning. I thought of this as I read Nouwen's quote. This is the list of verbs I quickly listed as I re-read the quote:

I borrowed these verbs for my thoughts on hope

2020 Hope 

I Have found these days
I must let go of the privilege of planning
to live each day as best I can
finding joy in smaller doses
I choose to cover my face, share food, buy books
let go of calling out blasphemers—already well known

I trust that my hope in God is placed well
It begins with fear but grows with love
I wait not by measured time
I trust waiting is life’s work
choosing practiced patience

I hope this fresh generation can continue the work
without giving up
without letting a temptation of laziness to take hold
Define work with actions
living the work with love for all neighbors
It molds us into children of
a God who holds us so dearly
who moves mountains so that we can feel warmth of the sun

(c) Linda Mitchell Spiritual Thursday June 2020


  1. Thank you! I like the way you've used the quote to create something new!

  2. Linda, your approach to this post is very interesting. From simple verbs you have created a poem that is timely. I like how you crafted the poem moving from speaking about your goals to defining hopes for a new generation of doers. This line is a call to action for me: "must let go of the privilege of planning".

  3. Letting go of the privilege of planning speaks to me these days. I feel each day brings more and more heartache. When will it stop? When can we be normal if there even is such a thing. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and your vulnerability in this poem.

  4. Linda: I like your poem very much, and also the way your concentrated on verbs. I will have to try this! Even though I am retired, I find it very hard not be plan. Maybe it's harder now I'm retired... I need more time to think through and make decisions, to get actual work done. Nouwen challenges me, but I know it is a good challenge. Our church had a situation recently in which this exact lesson was played out... someday I will write about it. Thanks again.

  5. The Nouwen passage is so powerful - I note the repetition of "choose" in his words and in yours. We choose hope, we choose to let go of what's draining us, holding us back. It is a daily molding process, a becoming of something better than what we are, for a purpose only God can fully see. Your poem, the passage that inspired it - all so beautifully appropriate for these times! And for all times, really. Thank you for the release and peace they impart.

  6. So much to love in the poem you created:

    "... continue the work
    without giving up
    Define work with actions
    Living the work
    with love for all neighbors."
    There's much to learn from your words. Thanks for collecting these verbs from the quote and making a poem with them.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!