Hope (A Fragment)
For those of you who don’t know, my car was stolen this past week. As of this writing, it’s still missing. It feels pretty clearly like a God thing still, even as I lose hope that it will be found; the fact that the thieves decided to ransack unlocked cars in my complex the one day that I forgot to lock mine AND accidentally left a spare key in it screams His handiwork, even if not for recognizable, immediate good. But more generally, I’ve had so many strange car issues in my life that it’s just like… okay, what are you trying to teach me this time, God? Am I idolizing independence again? Am I putting too many hopes on daydreams of road trips with my dog? Or maybe all of my previous car problems were just to prepare me to be okay with the fact that God needed my car elsewhere and it had very little to do with me. It’s not so much that I want answers from God as that I want closure. I want to know the story, and how God is working this together for good.
This all is context for why I’m sharing this poem. As I alluded to last week, I’m just tired and didn’t feel like spending too much time hunting down a better poem to publish. I turned to a specific notebook to find a specific poem, written about car problems—but it turns out I published that four years ago, when my previous car was rear-ended and ultimately totaled (in fact, it’s the reason I purchased my currently-missing car). Basically I picked this one because it was in the same notebook and felt somewhat relevant.
This poem, it’s worth noting, works as a standalone quatrain, but was intended to be the beginning of a sonnet. I could theoretically finish it, I suppose, and maybe one day I will. Leaving it as a fragment feels like an appropriate accompaniment to the lack of closure for my car.
This one also stands out because I tend to compare negative emotions—anger, bitterness, etc.—with weeds, not hope. But maybe that’s also appropriate for my mood this week: the small, unkillable seed of hope in God’s provision and in the greater story. That my car was stolen for some sort of divine purpose. That the Father does not give stones to those who ask for fish, and that I am more precious to him than the sparrows. That I am a victim of injustice and God cares very much about justice, and I can trust him to work it out even if I never see the outcome. That his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Hope may be a weed after all: so very hard to kill, and it spreads uncontrollably, and from its blossoms the butterflies are fed.
Hope (A Fragment)
Originally written October 18, 2012
Hope is a weed that springs from rocky ground,
And weathers drought and flood and wind and storm.
Though trampled, stomped, it still retains its form,
Though pulled or poisoned, it will yet rebound.