Last night was a long one.
The kids slept well. Drew was still in the bed beside me. But I tossed and turned myself into complete exhaustion. My mind wouldn’t shut down, it took me on a ride that I was begging to get off of. My thoughts swirled as I attempted to just let them go. (Or walk them to the door laughing- as Sister Marci taught us.)
But, they only left when I finally fell into a fitful sleep.
So as I work around my house this morning, I have one question running through my mind. It’s for those who are sure. Sure of their faith, sure of their beliefs. Just sure.
How do you know you have the answers? What makes you so sure?
I can only come up with more questions. Where there used to be a world of black and white, I am engulfed in gray. All those things I knew without a doubt, well, now I doubt. I remember as a kid being so grateful. I remember thinking, WOW, what a priviledged life I lead. Not for what I owned or for what was given, but for all the answers. I was born into a family whose faith was sure, my God and how I knew Him was the right one. How I understood Him made perfect sense. How sad I was for those who didn’t have all the answers like me. How could I get them to understand?copernicus-universe
Then, life happened. I wouldn’t consider myself a sheltered child. My parents were careful with what I watched, listened to and who I spent time with. But they also allowed me to see a world around me that wasn’t mine. It was a world with broken families, a world of poverty, a world that felt so imbalanced. I was quickly aware of the divisions we lived with. Divisions across racial, economic, political, and religious boundaries. And as I allowed myself into that world as an adult, the answers I once had dissolved. It was not like starting from nothing. It was like sitting with a puzzle in hand, and I no longer knew what the picture looked like. Where was I to go from here?
Last night as I tossed in bed, those doubts filled my mind. The knot in my chest, the questions that are unanswered, they haunted me. And I wonder now, how can anyone be sure?
So I ask those of faith, How do you know you have the answers? How do you experience the presence of God?
I am very aware of a need for truth and a longing for understanding. I cannot walk away, I am drawn in by my Creator. But what that Creator looks and feels like, that is foreign. I have pieces, but not the whole picture.
I am no longer afraid to say I don’t have the answers. Admitting that has brought freedom. But along with that freedom is a quest for truth. I have listened to the arguments and know there are so many, so sure. But so many, so sure of SUCH different things. This is where I let go. My faith is not one of arguments to be won. My faith is not one of answers that come in black and white. My faith is not a platform to stand on, refusing to step down.
My faith is a quest for God. It’s a quest for truth. And while the Bible can confuse, I am sure of one thing, yes, of this I am sure. It’s those verses found in I Corinthians 13.
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.”
*This picture is of my year one class at Kairos. They have been an amazing support to me as I ask all these questions. I am blessed.