Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘hope’

This Rose

Two years ago we planted a rose bush outside the front window of our little house. It was a tiny plant, but it’s grown remarkably, and this Summer roses bloomed all season. In the Fall, when the trees around us turned such glorious colors, its blossoms remained. When winds finally blew the leaves from the winterberry, sassafras and redbud, still there were roses.

The season has begun to turn again, and although a few leaves still dot the landscape, it is very much winter outside. Our trees are silhouettes; the undergrowth brown, the sky gray as often as not.

This morning, during an early snow, I looked from my window. One bright pink rose clung to its stem, blessed and beautiful.

I thought of the song by Carolyn McDade:

And I’ll bring you hope
When hope is hard to find
And I’ll bring a song of love
And a rose in the wintertime.

I know it’s early yet. I know the flower won’t last through Christmas, if it even lasts the week. But it brought comfort, a reminder that life and loveliness remain even through the cold. I thought of the struggles so many of us face this time of year – ambivalence over the holidays, family squabbles, seasonal depression – and I remembered the simple blessings that help us make it through. I thought of the constant stream of negative news in the nation and the world, the stress and tension that come simply from living in such times – and I remembered the good news, the progress hidden beneath the negativity, bringing hope when hope is hard to find.

I remembered the rose.

This rose will be gone in another day or two, I’m sure. But the hope it brought, its reminder of the wonders of earth and the kindness of community, will not fade. It will remain with me all winter, and like this rose, will live and grow until one day it blooms again in all its glory.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

January Morning – a poem

photo by Dan Schatz

Each morning
in winter
I walk to the old dogwood tree
that stretches over the front yard.

I am waiting for a sign.

Through the earliest days
there is nothing to see
more than January ice,
hard against the ground,
then mud
as snows melt,
then ice again,

but one sunny morning
comes something new.

Powerful and green
daffodil shoots
begin to work their way above the soil.

Winter will be a long time yet.
More snows will come,
and ice
and cold
and April will seem distant.

Do not be afraid.

Hope will
push through
frozen ground,
always,
and forever.

Dan Schatz
January 23, 2018

 

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_2222 2Easter was a challenge this year, for all sorts of reasons.  It’s not the easiest holiday for most Unitarian Universalists to begin with – the majority of us do not identify as Christians, and those who do generally emphasize the teachings of the human Jesus of Nazareth over stories of a physically risen Christ.  Yet it’s also important, because the metaphor of resurrection – in spirit if not in body – is powerful when the spirit within us seems to have died.  The day is a reminder of hope and promise, despite every difficulty.

This year, looking out at the world, the difficulties are obvious and hope has seemed especially hard to find.  It’s difficult not to feel hopeless and helpless when so many of the loudest voices in society respond to terrorist violence by further victimizing the refugees whose lives have been most damaged and remain most in danger.  It’s hard not to feel lost when we hear the bitter words of White supremacy echoing openly once more in our own country.  We feel heartbroken when states pass laws banning the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human beings, and offer cash rewards for turning them in, like Judas and his thirty pieces of silver.

I said all of this in my message on Sunday – but I noted that we continue on regardless, just as people did two thousand years ago, and just as people everywhere have always done.  Sometimes, the work that needs doing outweighs the grief, and sometimes in the process of doing it despite it all we start to realize that the beauty and joy still in the world are just as real as any hardship and suffering.  We find hope and renewal by becoming it.

I finished the service with a prayer, which I give to you in somewhat modified form.  It was written as an Easter prayer, but it needn’t be.  Hope and renewal need never be limited to one day or time of year.

~

A Prayer of Hope in a Time of Terror

God of many names and no name,
Spirit of hope and possibility,
ever growing and changing,
reborn each moment
with the turning of the world –

We have seen too many sorrows.

With the people of Brussels we have wept,
as we have wept with Ankara, Turkey,
Maiduguri, Nigeria,
Baghdad,
Paris,
San Bernardino, California,
the nation of Syria,
and so many others,
and as we weep today with the people of Lahore, Pakistan.
Our hearts cry out with all whose lives have been taken and torn.

We know that as war begets war,
hate begets hate
and fear becomes anger.
We are too tempted to respond
to the brokenness of the world
by fracturing it further.

In this, our season of rebirth,
may we meet death
with affirmations of life,
finding hope through destruction
as we give ourselves to the world’s renewal.

Today, we embrace the redemption of love
and begin the work of healing.

This we pray:
Let us become the resurrection.

Amen.

– Rev. Dan Schatz
March 27, 2016

Read Full Post »