“It’s from the impure day that she [Hope] makes the pure day.” –Charles Peguy, The Portal of the Mystery of Hope, 109
In the beloved children’s book Anne of Green Gables, Anne Shirley (the main character, an orphan who repeatedly gets herself into a series of scrapes) relies heavily on the hope that “tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it yet.”
We all need the hope of Anne Shirley, that tomorrow is fresh and clean and full of possibilities and opportunities. To know that it is possible to start fresh, to not be bound to a fate of our own making, an inescapable state determined by our flaws, lapses, mistakes, and sins.
But what if we dig even deeper? What if hope extends, not just to tomorrow, which has not yet been and actually never will be lived . . . but what if hope reaches back and takes hold of the day that has already been lived? To the painful moments, the misunderstandings, the accidents, the failures, the sins? That by the design and grace of God, Hope can and does, as Peguy observes, make a new day, a pure day, from what was impure?
I think we could make a good case that for Anne, too, her fresh and clean tomorrow was not only tomorrow’s pie in the sky, but also was actually a reality that made the mistakes of today a fertile ground for the possibilities of tomorrow. That hoping for the pure day, was not a denial of today, a glossing over or ignoring of today’s emotions, errors, pain, and sin. Instead, those emotions, errors, pain, and sin, acknowledged, confessed, entrusted to God through his gift of Hope, are the very material that is rejuvenated, enlivened, and cleansed, to be able to consider the true and pure tomorrow and draw it into today.