Whispering hope is so dear to my heart. It was the first song I wrote and in a way launched me into the world of songwriting with gusto! I originally got the idea for the song from an old hymn my Grammy mentioned to me. I was, and still am, fascinated by hymns and the beautiful language, rhyme, and meter. As I delved deep into the creative thought process and cracked the spine of a hymnal older than me, I became captivated with the image of God leaning in close to whisper to us, “don’t give up, hold onto hope.” I didn’t know it then, but I was writing a song that would carry me through some of the darkest days of my life. I was writing a song that I would refuse to believe and even resent at times, but a song that nonetheless I would eventually embrace as a dear friend. Little did I know, I was writing a song that would be played at my Grammy’s funeral and then to the devastation of us all, my mother’s funeral just a few years later.
The college Eden who wrote this song had no idea who she would have to become to survive the experience of learning what hope really meant. So here I am today, reflecting on that journey from naivety to a tangible understanding of the bitter taste of death. In fact, today this song is teaching me something about how I live. There are two constants I have encountered, two opposites, and two extremes, like oil and water they seem impossible to mix but for the cross where the two met. Yes, at the cross tragedy and hope were bound together allowing us to continue to face one with the other close at hand.
Tragedy and hope.
I have discovered this about tragedy. It is easy to be possessed by your tragedy, for it to consume you and become your identity. All of the sudden life revolves around what’s been lost, and let’s be honest… people give you more attention. I felt myself slipping into this habit of being identified by my tragedy, and the worst part was, it didn’t ease the sorrow, it magnified the pain.
In those moments, I hear myself singing these words as if, in God’s sovereignty, He spoke them to me to speak to my future self. They ring true, “Through everything I still hear your voice, and it’s whispering hope to me. Through the brokenness and sorrow still we rejoice singing glory glory glory to you glory in my pain and my weakness too. Glory glory glory to you, life has come through love.”
And there it is, the subtle reminder of the cross that gave us, if we so choose, a way to drench our tragedy with a precious salve for the wound, hope. There is this one resounding answer to tragedy, hope. It is the characteristic that makes no sense, like a plant breaking up through concrete, that though our hearts inevitably will be wounded, they don’t have to become hardened.
So rewind to college Eden. I opened the hymnal and sat down on my dorm room floor with my guitar. Some songs the melody comes first like a gift and the words fit in like puzzle pieces. An hour later I had written “Whispering Hope” in it’s complete form. To this day, barely anything has changed. Some songs you have to fight and struggle to write, and others I believe God gifts to you.
I hope you find strength to quiet your soul in those tough times and hear the gentle whisper of God reminding you again and again that there is hope! I hope you hear him through the chaos and understand that not even death can hold back God’s promises. This is our supreme hope that even death, our greatest enemy has been conquered and “life has come through love.”