Hope, Disappointment, Hope

“…Suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope,
and hope does not disappoint us…” – Romans 5:3-5

So much suffering
to endure
world-wounding,
nation-spanning,
wailing, weeping,
crashing, crushing.

Not all survive
what they endure,
bodies-bloodying,
soul-searing,
no comfort,
no healing.

Some endure
but suffer still,
character assassinated,
spirit speared,
throat raw
from silent shouts.

Character survives
but hope? Not always.
Heart-hurt,
future-foundered.
What to expect
but what we’ve known?

But hope
does not disappoint
even if suffering,
endurance,
and character all fail,
as they do.

Hope does not disappoint.
It has been fulfilled.
We suffer and endure,
and we are not alone.
There is a balm in Gilead.
It heals the shattered soul.

A poem/prayer based on Romans 5:1-5, the Revised Common Lectionary Second Reading for Year C, Trinity Sunday.

The image is Saint Paul Writing His Epistles by Valentin de Boulogne (one of my favorite artistic depictions of the Apostle) – Blaffer Foundation Collection, Houston, TX, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=596565.

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