“A Song for the Hopeless”
by Vernie Lynn DeMille
There is a space and time in each existence,
be it man, woman, or child, where all promises feel broken.
Where the edges of those broken dreams,
spun and woven from the finest threads of faith,
turn sharp and cut at the dreamer with more accuracy than a blade of steel.
Some come to that broken place through sickness or grief,
or perhaps through betrayal and disillusionment;
but no matter the route taken,
there is only one thing there for them: pain.
It is a pain like no other.
It is the pain that drives an alcoholic to his next drink,
the gambler to his next game,
the adulterer to his next assignation,
the forlorn into their hiding places where even sorrow feels like solace.
There is a depth and breadth
to hopeless despair
that is nearly beyond comprehension
and yet so often remains unseen.
The hopeless walk amongst the crowd
with their smile intact,
or at least a facsimile of a smile.
And alongside them,
in an emotional, spiritual, mental realm,
that none but they can see, runs a deep chasm.
Bottomless, dark, and terrifying.
It is the dark space
where all those once bright dreams have gone,
flowing like a black waterfall
over the edge into a thundering silence
that fills the heart, the mind, and the soul.
The call whispers up from the mists that cover the bottom of that fall.
It calls as you walk the path of least resistance:
do the job, run the errands, pay the bill, cook the food.
And the hopeless soul looks over the edge,
into the darkness where their dreams have gone,
and wonders if the risk of beginning
will be their death or a new life.
with a voice hoarse from years and agony,
that to try is to fail
and to dream is to die
just a little more each day.
Hope is…beyond reach.
It is the gilded edge of a broken leaf,
barely moved by a breath of autumn wind;
a tremor, a shine, and then an awful, shadowed stillness.
The hopeless soul sees it, the idea of another dream,
and feels it in the marrow of their bones;
where it aches and burns in a place too deep for bleeding.
It is a beauty so rare, so fleeting,
and the hopeless are just too tired
to keep looking for gold in the fickle wind.
But hope is patient and persistent.
Where the hopeless would stay hidden,
the voice of hope pushes in unwanted, to torment and tease.
it whispers and this time
it flashes a bit of its gilt-edged glory into that space of darkness.
In the midst of chores, daily grind, and drudgery,
where dead dreams can be cremated
and the ashes of an old life scattered
to the four winds or to Hell, wherever they prefer,
so long as they stay dead and trouble us no more;
into the midst of that life,
silent of any stray discontent,
the voice whispers.
Like a song known once and barely remembered,
or a longed for flavor only half tasted,
it sneaks in, light as air and pushes, just a bit,
on the heart.
It is a lullaby,
little more than a breath,
that flutters along the skin.
And deep in the darkness,
where the heart of the hopeless truly lives,
it surely and silently
breathes oxygen onto the embers
of an unquenchable spark.
God seeks His own.
Within you, in a hidden place
where even pain is afraid to look,
in that tiny flame of life that burns on.
He placed that song in your heart at your beginning
and He remembers the words even when you cannot.
with the voice of hope,
and He will keep calling
for as long as necessary.
That is His gift to the hopeless.
There is nowhere so dark,
or so empty
where you can hide your hurt,
your lost dreams
and your grief
where He will not find you,
and sing you home.