Factor of Faith
As I took my place around the radio studio table, one of the morning hosts said, "The remarkable thing about you and your family - is that you have kept the faith."
"Are we going to talk about that?" I asked with alarm. I wasn’t ready for that question – I thought I had been called to do an interview about the Candace House.
Sensing my alarm, she quickly reassured me. "Oh -no – we might want to explore it later this morning as a topic, but not with you. However, it is still remarkable that you have kept the faith."
She paused to look at me intently - a huge question mark in her eyes. "I'm not talking about religion - just about keeping the faith," she says as she continues to study me, as if she wants to examine my soul for my answer. I have none at the moment. I am without words - without an answer.
Thank goodness, radio is measured in seconds and minutes. Time is up. The question is shelved. We are on.
We talked about the Candace House - which was easy. I am overwhelmed with euphoric feelings and overwhelming gratitude when I think about the House and Candace.
But as I meander through the rest of the intense media-focused day, the question lingers.
Journalist are gifted with those intuitive questions that capture the essence of the moment.
How did we keep the faith?
What is it about faith that can be thrown away or lost?
Why did she distinguish between faith and religion?
Why have I tried desperately not to talk about my faith publicly?
And what is my faith – how would I define it?
And why was it important to keep it?
How did I keep it?
And it wasn't only Cliff and myself - but our two adult children and their spouses who have kept the faith. In fact we are all now pastors! How did that happen?
How did we keep the faith when others have lost theirs during the same process?
Is any of this important to anyone else?
I wander around the house, coffee mug in hand. If my faith is important to anyone, I would blog about it - but is it important to share? I wonder vaguely. I don't think so.
Besides, I don't have the time. I am working on another assignment. In fact - I'm royally stuck in this other extremely important assignment. Stuck, because I can't find a file. I've been tearing the house apart - literally. I have about 40 file boxes strewn around the basement - partially opened.
(I'm not really a hoarder - only of notes and papers. And if you stack file boxes - 8 high, in one corner of the house they don't take much room at all. But when they are all opened - what a mess!)
I've already cleared out the two closets in my study. There are about ten huge garbage bags of stuff that I've gone through in my search - full of papers that are useless - which I can't throw out for fear that one of those useless papers might become important. Do you sense the panic!?
I need that file!!!!
If it takes me another two months - two years, I'm going through everything in my house to find that file.
Then I say -- to myself - and whoever is listening.
"If I find that file - I will write that blog."
Almost as if guided, coffee mug in hand, I go downstairs. I glance at all those boxes. Strewn. More disorganized then when I started. What an absolute mess!
I walk to one -- not even sure why - and I start paging through the files again - remembering that I had looked at this file box quite intently last night and found nothing. Why should I waste my time looking again?
But then there is one file that has a funny title. I don't remember that title.... I open it up - quickly leafing through the notes. It's the wrong file - the dates are wrong. But for some reason, I keep paging through it.
Then at the very back of that file - there is a shaft of stapled papers!
It's the right topic - a detailed description! It has the date! It has everything I was looking for!
Found it!!!!! It's all there - just as I knew it would be. But in the wrong place - wrong era! What was I thinking!?
I pause. I realize.....
I realize without a doubt that it is truly a miracle that I have found it.
It is less than five minutes from when I put out that question - that fleece - and found that file.
I have as many questions as you do.
But I'm not going to argue. Would you?
I'm going to write this blog.
And in the writing of this blog series - I really am open to including you in the conversation.
Let's talk about faith. Let's risk it.
“Some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them," I said.
"Right, of course. But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.” - John Green
I will be blogging three times a week. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. (Oh the promises we make!) Please feel free to add your faith stories, questions and doubts.