Well, clearly I kept mulling the piece I wrote yesterday re: faith. I awoke this morning with dreams about faith and hope.
Hope says: It (my health, the economy, the world, a relationship. . . .) will get better.
Belief says: It will get better by prayer, action, discipline, surrender, exercise, meditation, taking care, paying attention, getting information, resting, working, trusting God/the Great Mystery, being more patient, more compassionate . . .
Faith says: Life is good- worth living fully with open eyes, mind and heart- even if things don't get "better," even if what I believe will create desired change does not appear to do so.
In the last couple of years, as I sat still, I came to the place of no-hope, of not knowing what to hope for, and of not finding energy available for hoping. I also found many of my beliefs shattered as I did all the things I believe "work" only to find myself increasingly ill. But the great gift of no hope and shattered beliefs is the discovery of faith. I have to admit, there have been moments of desolation when finding that faith remained truly surprised me. And in discovering faith there is great joy and a sense of deep peace.
And all of this reminds me of one of my favourite pieces of poety:
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be light, and the stillness dancing.
T.S. Eliot from East Coker (No. 2 of 'Four Quartets')