Hope, One Motivator of Creativity.

“If I have to sweat for it, dear God, let it be as in Your service. I would like to be intelligently holy. I am a presumptuous fool, but maybe the vague thing in me that keeps me in is hope.”

Flannery O’Conner, A Prayer Journal

Flannery talks about a novel as a holy endeavor. Basted in hope she wrote. Ah, the top three: Faith, hope, and love. She mentions hope. I too, would like to be intelligently holy, but hope dawdles behind my presumptions.

Hope seems always like the odd man out of the big three. Hope often suffers from the middle child syndrome. Faith, HOPE, and love. Faith the firstborn, always leading the charge, self-motivated, moves the mountains and such. Love, the baby, the spoiled, everyone goo gahing over it all the time. Hope tucked in the middle, often overlooked, underrated. I don’t know what Flannery thought of faith and love, but she uses the term ‘vague’ when referring to hope, at least when it comes to writing anyhow.

I hope to keep on writing. Hope, whether I acknowledged its presence or not, is what encouraged my fingertips settle on the keys this morning.

A friend asked me, “do you have hope?”


“Well, hope doesn’t disappoint.”

I put those words in the glove compartment of my heart. Poor ole hope, tucked away again. But not forgotten. I knew where to look for it this morning.

Do you have hope? Put faith and love aside for a moment. I know they are close siblings and all, but for a moment pay attention to the middle child.

Flannery-O'Connor 1947.jpg

Flannery O’Conner


  1. Due to the editorial calendar, my mind has already been in the first week of Advent. This is when we light the candle of hope on the Advent wreath. Hope is my default, but then my second line is always to question, to prepare for disappointment. I think I might put those words in the glove compartment of my heart too, Jerry. Hope doesn’t disappoint.

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