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The Gates of Hope

In a devotion this morning with the new Cabinet members of the Florida Conference, United Methodist Church, David Dodge shared a poem by Victoria Safford about Hope.  I love great modern poetry and share with you what David shared with us:

Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of hope–
not the prudent gates of Optimism,
which are somewhat narrower;
nor 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 through);
nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of
“Everything Is Gonna Be All Right.”

But a different, sometimes lonely place, of truth-telling about your own soul
first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance,
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 joy in the struggle.
And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
telling people what we’re seeing, asking them what they see.

This may not have been written as a poem per se.  It was part of an chapter written by Rev. Safford that first appeared in a book entitled, The Impossible Will Take a Little Time:  A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear by Paul Rogat Loeb (website).