As dawn breaks on this first day of 2020 and a new decade, we rightly seek glimmers of hope for the future. I wonder, however, if it is past for which we need hope.
A friend sent me a poem this week by David Ray. It is a tribute to the famed poet Robert Frost:
Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.
Yes, I need hope for the past!
- mistakes of the past are redeemed.
- guilt from the past is forgiven
- grief of the past is comforted
- memories of the past are claimed without pain
- broken relationships from the past are reconciled
- prejudices of the past are purged
- hatreds of the past are eradicated
- lessons from the past are learned
Since the One who creates, redeems, and sustains is LOVE, there is hope for the past and future. Living that hope is the challenge of today!
Thank you, Bishop Carder, for your wise and profound words. I am struggling with the state of my country and of my loved UMC. Both are in turmoil, and at this time, I’m not sure that I fit in anymore. I have always been proud to be an American and a Methodist. Now, I feel ashamed of my country and fear the loss of a church that my husband and I dearly love. I pray for the hope that in 2020 things will resolve and the USA and the UMC will mend.
I am grateful my past intersected your past!
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I am am grateful that my past intersected with your past!
Thank you for sharing this response with me! Happy Mew Year and new thoughts.
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Thank you Bishop Carder
Thank you for sharing this! Happy New Year to you and your family! Grace and peace. Gail