In April, when I met with Dorothy and her husband Jim, I extended an invitation to her to be a guest blogger. She has gracefully agreed.
The air is so hot, so still, then, seemingly from nowhere, a sweet, cool breeze sweeps our face, and we are refreshed, renewed. When it passes, we are once again in the glare of the day but we have been relieved and await again, the next passing wisp of wind.
So, too, it is with faith. We can not tell nor predict from where it comes. It seems to wash over us in moments unsuspecting and we are given hope in unseen possibilities. Sometimes it is as simple as the ring of laughter or a moment of communication that comes without words.
As children, perhaps, we were told stories and we clung to them, repeated them, and this was our world of faith. But as we age, the stories are revealed to be reflections of ideas, often idealized, and we put them away along with skates and yo-yos. It becomes more difficult as we encounter suffering, loss, injustice and chaos, to believe in a magic order in the universe.
If we have eyes to, though, there are moments of grace. Amid the despair, comes a still, small encounter and it calls us to question, to struggle and to wrestle with what we know and believe. And herein is the true faith, the core of our spirits. It is not in knowing and unquestioning, but rather in doubt and in participating with that holy and wholly unknowable force we call God. We are called to be Jacob, wrestling with the pull between our baser instincts and our moment-to-moment decisions to contribute to a greater good, no matter how futile the attempt, no matter how small the effort.
It is those who doubt and question, but still strive to love, to contribute in service to others who enact faith. Mature spirit learns to replace omnipotence with collaboration, omniscience with inquiry, and belief with comfort in ambiguity. When we resist nihilism, when we reject an ideology of radical individualism, then we are able to glimpse that we are part of the greater whole, in unity with each other and creation, and in so doing, we help to create the next cool breeze.