Words of Hope: Caesura Pause

I have been thinking about skills and gifts my Dad had that I aspire to have in my life. One skill he had was the caesura pause. A caesura pause is a rhythmic pause in poetry for breath, emphasis, and redirection. Dad learned the importance of a pause like this in his conversations. When someone asked him a tough, theological, or psychological question, Dad took his time to answer. This delay allowed him to step into curiosity rather than reactiveness. I knew he was praying for wisdom and seeking knowledge higher than his own understanding. Dad wanted to learn to take a step back, take a breath, and consider the situation from a place of curiosity rather than doubt, fear, or intensity.

Dad used this pause when he heard about difficult news—loss, cancer, heartache, suffering. This discipline of the poetic pause reminded Dad of new options and possibilities. I see hope in many ways as the caesura pause: the emotional and spiritual return to breathing in love and exhaling fear. 

Sometimes the news, the heartache, the reverberation of suffering in my life and those around me causes me to hold my breath. Then I remember my Dad breathing into the space of uncertainty by turning his thoughts to God, an intentional decision to breathe in hope. I remember my life as a poem is yet unfinished; therefore, how can I infuse my life with hope so that this informs all the lines that come next.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 62:5-6