Saskatchewan is blessed with many hours of sunshine, even during the coldest months. But the first week of November was damp and dark. Freezing rain kept me inactive indoors. The general gloom was depressing.
My thoughts drifted to a song our church choir often sang for Remembrance Day entitled “Inscription of Hope” by Z. Randall Stroope.
Using facts from various sources and a folk tune, Stroope wrote a song about the Holocaust. It is a story about survival, belief and resilience, even in the most disparring circumstances. It is a reminder of the tragic results of prejudice and hate toward other people. But it is also a reminder that hope held firm will eventually overcome the darkness.
The song was inspired by words inscribed on the walls of a cellar in Cologne, Germany, where Jews were hiding from the Nazis during the Second World War. Hope was all they had to hold onto, hope showed the way to a brighter tomorrow.
The opening lines of the song have come back, year after year, to encourage me:
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
and I believe in love
even when there’s no one there
When I am swallowed up by the gloom of my darkest thoughts, I sometime find solace in these lines from the song:
… sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
my heart cries for shelter to know somone’s there
but a voice rises within me saying hold on my child
I’ll give you strength, I’ll give you hope, just stay a little while
Remembered poetry and music can be a great source of comfort when the world seems hopeless. As we begin Advent, I wish for you a moment of hope in these darkest days of the year. During Advent, the four weeks leading to Christmas, I attempt to write about the four Advent themes: hope, peace, joy and love. It is challenging to find a new way to approach the topics each year. Next week, I will write about peace.