Hope and an Expectancy of Good

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all…

– Emily Dickinson

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

. – Hebrews 11:1


I never really appreciated “hope” when I was younger. I thought it was kind of a weak thing, to tell you the truth – something born out of desperation and helplessness – a thing that people talked about when they were expecting the worst, but “hoping for the best.” But I’ve come to believe that there are actually two kinds of hope – there’s the kind I just mentioned, and there’s another kind – the kind of hope that expects good, expects the best, and is always open to see answers and solutions, beauty and love, and everything incredible in life – the kind of hope that makes its own “miracles.”

In her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy defines “MIRACLE” as “That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science. “  Eddy writes, ““A miracle fulfills God’s law, but does not violate that law…” and she says, “Now, as then (in Jesus’ time), these mighty works (healings) are not supernatural, but supremely natural…We must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary.”

The truly hope-filled person isn’t weak, desperate, or discouraged. The hope-filled person is, I think, a person who knows how to recognize all the good around her, and who can open herself up to it, and avail herself of it. The hope-filled person has made the discovery that things always get better, that it really is “darkest before the dawn” and that there is an answer to every problem. Hopeful people are open to the moment, are spontaneous, and joy-filled. The hope-filled person has learned she can trust in, and rely on, God (Good, Love, Truth) every single time. She doesn’t plea, she doesn’t beg, she knows.

For myself, I have found that when I consciously go through life with hope and an expectancy of good it brings a certain “magic” into my day.

My recent interest in photography has taught me a lot about having an “expectancy of good.”  If I go out with my camera, expecting to see magic in every moment, I find treasures all around me. There’s no way I can tell you exactly what I’m going to see on my walks – an expectancy of good doesn’t carry that kind of limitation with it, but is open to everything – I can’t stage the eagles, herons, and otters for myself – but I can know that there’ll be some treasure in every moment that will bring me joy.

There is power in confident hope. There is initiative, rather than inertia; patient waiting, rather than helpless waiting. There is an expectancy of good.

Declare everything good for yourself; expect everything good now.” – Edward A. Kimball