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Hope — My Word for 2021

December 18, 2020

For the last 12 days I have been participating in a retreat with Abbey of the Arts Abbey of the Arts. Our Abbess, Christine Valters Paintner has been walking along side of us and shepherding us through the process. My word/phrase for 2019 and 2020 was “Be Still.” Spirit spoke to me and revealed a new word as we leave 2020 behind and walk hopefully into 2021z

I wrote this poem when I was in my Clinical Pastoral Education residency for a year with the US Air Force. I was contemplating my word for 2021–Hope– when this poem (the first I had ever written as an adult) popped into my head. It was untitled in 1997 but now it appears 23 years later it now has a title!


I stand in the midst of a sea of suffering,
On a boat in stormy seas.
Looking for an island of tranquility,
A place of healing for you and me.

  1. Dita Pickering permalink

    Like it. Write some more when you have the time and inspiration.

  2. Michael, you have chosen a perfect word to start the new year with. We so desperately need hope, don’t we? Your charming poem perfectly ties in with our times. I’m glad you shared it here. Yes, I vote, too—do write more poetry when you can! Blessings of hope and peace to you, my friend. 😊❤️

    • Thank you, Joy ❤️ The word got my attention during some meditation time and some reflective reading I was doing.

      • I’m still waiting for mine, Michael. It usually takes a bit of time and a lot of conscious listening to make sure I’ve got it right! All because I prefer to wait on God rather than choose one I want for myself. He may delay according to my timing but he’s never late… 😉❤️

      • God didn’t reveal my word right away… I honestly had to slow down and simply Be Still… God’s timing, not mine 😉

      • I got that impression, Michael. In my own experience, the waiting and being still are an intrinsic part of the receiving. I’m so glad you received such an uplifting word! 😊❤️

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