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Monday
Sep022013

Faith

What is faith? Is it praying because it is the right thing to do? Is it going to church? Is it believing in a God in human form, or an energy that wraps the universe in its hold? For me, faith was something I took for granted long before I really needed to know what it was.

I always prayed as a child. It was as routine as breathing. An involuntary exercise that would save my life if I died in my sleep. Or at least that's what it said could happen in my nightly prayer. "If I should die before I wake, I pray The Lord my soul to take." I wondered why adults would create a ritual so morbid in its theme. Why this didn't prevent me from sleeping I do not know. But it definitely affected the prayer that I practice with our own children.

"Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray The Lord my soul to keep.
While angels watch me through the night.
Until I wake in the morning light.
Ahem."

The ahem part started when our son requested a twist at the end. Then our youngest needed a real attention grabber. So we turned it into a rap. Tupac would be proud.

I prayed every night as a child. Got down on my knees - the hooked rug that I had made, knotted beneath my knees. My elbows propped on the bed. My hands in prayer position or fingers folding into one-another in case eyes fell upon my back. Prayer made me feel good. I was behaving when I prayed.

It's funny how we can pray so diligently as children, then forget to do it as adults - just when we need it the most. As a child, prayer was never something I talked about with friends. I never told a friend I would pray for her to pass a test. But I still prayed every single night. Then, as an adult I rarely prayed, but talked about it as if I always did. Promising friends a mention to God, as though I had a red telephone phone installed just for Him.

Then my life took its turn. To the darkest place. My world was shattered and I was left in a haze of middle realm. I had never been so stripped of spiritual skin. As though it was ripped from my bones so that I might finally understand why faith is as real as the wind. It is the most powerful storm that surrounds the tiniest lamb. And then whispers where it can find shelter for the night.

Faith is found when your heart is a vice that cracks your chest so wide - only God can fill its place.

Faith is writhing with no one to hear your pleas and knowing you are heard. It is when your words swim through tears that burn your cheeks. And when the crying stops, your heart feels an other-worldly release.

I have learned one thing that faith is not. It is not getting what you think you want. It is accepting the challenge and receiving the strength to carry on. It is when others pray for your body to heal and your heart starts healing first. But mostly, faith is when fear is replaced by resolve that all is as it was planned - before we ever set foot on this earth and started to fold our hands.


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Reader Comments (1)

Beautifully written. I have learned that our faith is what holds us together during a time of crises.

Jo Marie

September 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJo Marie Moore

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