I Put My Hope In All The Wrong Places


I’m sorry now, that I put my hope in all the wrong places. I didn’t realise hope - that butterfly with gold-dusted wings - was so expensive. I thought the butterfly unbreakable. Made of concrete or stone.

So I left it lying around. I left it on the kitchen counter near the kettle and the sharp knives and the hob. When I met someone I liked, I popped it in his pocket without him knowing. Only, he pulled it out one day with a screwed up receipt and a penny and a pocketful of dust. He pulled out my fluttering hope and – not realising what it was – threw it away. My gold-dusted hope lay in the dustbin with a screwed up receipt and a penny.

After that I vowed I wouldn’t let a soul get at my hope. So I locked it up in Fort Knox with the other gold that must never see the light of day: trust and faith and all these dangerous, fragile things.

I imprisoned my once buoyant, now battered hope deep underground in the vault. Because now I understood that hope has a cost and a high price. And there are hope thieves and hope raiders and bad people who look like good people, who will steal your hope and trample it or trade on it. So I became vigilant – unwilling to unearth my hope. My precious. Dark in the ground, safe from prying eyes and fingers who put their sticky fingerprints all over hope so it can never fly.

My eyes grew dim, my skin was grey. I dreaded every single hope-less day.
Buried alive, away from light, my hope grew frail and dark as night.

Should I kill my hope? Snuff out its life, or find another pocket-soul to trust with its remaining light?

I looked around from eye to eye, from sea to sea, to find a stranger… but they all looked like me. Broken people, with pockets of trash: thick-fingered, ham-fisted and not safe at all with this little life.

So I went down to the vault, to my Hades of hope, and I set that little thing free. It rose at once on unsteady wings. Up and up. Flew out of me like a small sigh, and kept on gaining. Flying straight for the light.

Once I understood I wasn’t its owner, my hope knew its home. She flew right up to him: the one who made her. She fluttered back into his chest with a billion butterflies. They danced around his bright-sun heart. His life, the safe vault that lay open to the light: protected by a golden cage of ribs.

I watched amazed as a dark shadow approached his chest…stretching out its tendrils to snatch at my hope. But he put up his hand and pushed away the black, to keep the golden light butterflies safe in his light.

And that day I knew, my hope was real. And in him, my hope could live revealed.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”. Psalm 42.5