Hope Ink

Written by Mike Sherburn

Hope deferred is disease.
Fleas, biting on the flesh of the future.
For there’s nothing neutral about hope.
Hope is so many things.
A coping mechanism, a promise,
The longed-for light and the end of the tunnel.
A funnel through which fresh water of renewal
and justice might flow.
To say no to hope is to drop the bruised one on a
buttered slope of despair.
To deny hope is to refuse to care.

Hope is built on need, not desire.
Hope knows what is required and floodlights the
path that leads there.
Hope declares an end will come, even though it
may be far off.

Hope is essential.
It should not be pencilled in but inked up!
Tattooed on to the soul and poured to
overflowing into the cup of destiny.
No tendency towards weak-willed wishing can be
a sister to hope.

So where is hope now?
Where is it found today?
What does it look and sound and smell like?
It smells like home, on spring cleaning day.
Renewal and refreshment.
It smells like Asian curry, Latin chilli, fresh pasta
or burger sauce – the scent of home.
The aroma of belonging.
It sounds like carnival, joyful release and

The unceasing cacophony of beating drums,
summoning the slum-dweller to march for a new

It looks like a shining prism-light spectrum of
colours, classes, hats, ages, clothes, genders and
skin tones, all radiant in the dawn of a new day.
It collides at once with how the world was made
to be. Fulfilled to all its fulness.
Made free and sung aloud in harmony.
With every instrument in song.
Every voice lifted.

This is what hope is like.
And this is why the wonderful counsellor is so
It is for this that the mighty God is mighty.
To live in this hour is what the everlasting Father
lit up creation to create.
It is this peace that beats its rhythm in the heart
of the prince – Jesus.

Are you clinging?
Sing your hope.
Are you winging it?
Sing your hope.
Would you fling out all your maybe and wishing
for one great resolution?
Sing your hope.

He will bring it!

Mike Sherburn is a Baptist Minister at Watchet Baptist Church

This post is part of an advent series. Twenty-Four diverse voices have been invited to share some thoughts on one of four themes (Hope, Peace, Joy and Love) each day during the season of Advent. Each contributor has been given just one theme and no further parameters – they may write as much or as little in the style of their own choosing.

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