The Gates of Hope

I’m not going to write much on this post.  I’m slowly coming back to writing by reading poetry, taking walks, and some mornings of “doing nothing” after an emotionally exhausting month. 

An important question that has surfaced over the past year took on a nurturing quality: “Where do you hurt?” 

I gave myself space to acknowledge and feel my hurt at deeper levels, to talk about pain with those I trust, to weep. 

As I give enough space from my soul to warm up to how I actually feel, I’ve experienced that my sense of hope actually grows.  I allow all my emotions to have a voice, and this leads to both a hopeful and a lonely place.  

As you read this powerful poem may you know in your own experience that engaging in your personal struggles actualizes a deeper sense of hope.


The Gates of Hope


by Reverend Virginia Stafford


Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope-

Not the prudent gates of Optimism,

Which are somewhat narrower.

Not the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;

Nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness,

Which creak on shrill and angry hinges

(People cannot hear us there; they cannot pass


Nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of

“Everything is gonna’ be all right.”

But a different, sometimes lonely place,

The place of truth-telling,

About your own soul first of all and its condition.

The place of resistance and defiance,

The piece of ground from which you see the world

Both as it is and as it could be

As it will be;

The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,

But the joy of the struggle.

And we stand there, beckoning and calling,

Telling people what we are seeing

Asking people what they see.




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