Living in the tension


I came across a couple of things today that stood out, a poem and a song. I was reminded again of how often difficult, even horrific life circumstances and hope can coexist for us as humans.  You know, that spirit of overcoming, of withstanding, of bouyancy. And this seems so unexplainable, contrary to logic, and completely unexpected. Like Anna Zizi’s story yesterday, there are many stories that we hear, read in the headlines, or see in documentaries and movies. Stories that leave us wondering how that can be? Asking if I am capable of that too?

One such story, or stories (details vary) that I came across, surrounds a poem that was found by allied troops in 1945, on a basement wall in Cologne, Germany.  The poem is anonymous, yet attributed to someone hiding from the Gestapo.  In it’s simple language is a profound message of hope and faith in a time of horror and adversity.

Even When God Is Silent

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.

I believe in love even when feeling it not.

I believe in God even when God is silent.

And I recognized that a life of faith, whether new or maturing, requires a lot of us. It asks us to live in the tension of experiencing one thing and believing in another. Like so many things in my life, the tension is constant and is sometimes hard to bear. But in the end it comes down to one thing, BELIEVING. Hope is really all about BELIEVING too.

The poem, “Even When God is Silent,” inspired BarlowGirl, an American Christian Rock group of three sisters, to write their song, ‘I believe in Love.”

I Believe in Love

How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I’m feeling doubt I’m losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe

Though I can’t see my stories ending
That doesn’t mean the dark night has no end
It’s only here that I find faith
And learn to trust the one who writes my days
So I’ll stand in the pain and silence
And I’ll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe
No dark can consume Light
No death greater than this life
We are not forgotten
Hope is found when we say
Even when He is silent

I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I, I believe.

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6 thoughts on “Living in the tension

  1. Thanks for sharing this Lesley-Anne. Since you started blogging about hope, it’s been very interesting to see how often the subject comes up in the world around me, be it on radio, TV, or even in an overheard conversation while I wait to get my coffee. And not all of it related to Haiti. Hope is an amazing thing. That’s such a powerful poem, and tribute to someone’s faith. I wonder what it is that causes some people to have so much hope in the worst of circumstances and others to have so little in everyday life. It’s obviously not just life experience or training that causes this. You might find Stanley Milgram’s experiments on learned helplessness to be of interest…too long to describe here but in essence, some dogs give up, but some dogs still try…there doesn’t seem to be a reason why.

  2. P.S. Forgot about a book I started to read not long ago by renowned psychologist Martin Seligman called “Learned Optimism”. He does believe that optimism (which I see as equivalent to hope) can be taught, and believes it should be taught to our children rather than the “positive self-esteem” methods that were recently so popular though we are now seeing evidence that this was a mistake….am I getting off topic?? sorry! It was an interesting book about teaching hope and reality.

    • Interesting comparison between optimism and hope… now to pull out my old Websters and compare. I agree that positive self-esteem is a completely different thing than hoping outside of yourself… in something greater. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. sorry, I was just dashing something off quickly that needed more info regarding the self-esteem push that the public school system was relying on for a while there… you may have thankfully avoided it with your children in private school. We’ll chat some time!

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