Friday, July 18, 2008

Sure of What We Hope For, Certain of What We Do Not See

There’s a full moon tonight. When I was growing up, my favorite thing to do was to lie in my backyard and look up at the stars.

We live near the lake so if I sit on my back steps, I can see the moon, the lake and the stars. But lying down, I had a beautiful view of the biggest sky I’d ever seen. It’s still probably the biggest. I’ve heard Montana has the biggest sky around, but I’ve never been there. I like my East Tennessee sky just fine.

Tonight, the moon was so bright I thought the outside house lights were on. It was big and glowing. I could hardly see any stars for all its dazzle. And the lake sparkled the lights back and reflected up, like it was looking right at me.

There’s just something about the water. And the moon. I felt so small. I am so small.

Whenever I see the mountains or the ocean or a beautiful sunset, I wonder how people don’t believe in God. Or when I see or experience pure love, between mother and child, or people who would sacrifice anything for one another, I wonder. Maybe that’s naïve of me. I don’t know. But I do know that I believe. And when I see a round, shining moon that looks like it could swallow the sky, I wonder how anyone could see that and not feel God.

I’ve been feeling God a lot lately. Like a hand on the small of my back guiding me into a room. Or a whisper. I just know that everything’s going to be alright. School is hard, death is hard, life is hard. But it’s going to all work out. I am small, but He is big. If He feeds the birds, He will feed me.

There are a lot of things about myself that I keep private, so I don’t talk about my faith often. I keep it tucked in tight. But it’s strong.

The Bible says, Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. But I don’t just have faith in God. My faith is so much bigger. I have faith in those I love. I have faith in myself. I have faith that no matter what, things are going to be ok, I will carry on.

William Wordsworth said, Faith is passionate intuition. Isn’t that beautiful? I had to google that. I thought it was Keats. And in my little search I found another quote on faith from Gandhi – Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow in. I think that's so insightful because you do have to grow in your faith constantly.

I feel I’m growing a lot lately. Or maybe just realizing for the first time how far I’ve come and just where I am. I haven’t just felt God guiding me. I’ve also felt Him telling me I’m on the right track. I am at peace right now. With all the chaos, somehow I’m peaceful and know that I’m right where I am supposed to be and I'm who I'm supposed to be.

There are things that ground us, that calm us in the snap of an instant. There are a couple friends whose voices do that for me. Always family. And the moon and the stars and water. I feel God in all of that.

When I was little, my mom and I had a song we sang to the moon. It’s a silly song, but it was ours. I’ve never met anyone else who knew it so she may have even made it up. And when I would visit my father, I could look up at the sky and moon and know it was the same sky and same moon my mother saw. And I’d feel better, closer to her. Sometimes now when I look at the sky, I think of those I love and all those I will love that I haven’t yet met, and I know it’s the same big sky that holds us all.

We are small, and our world is small. And the same God is in all of it – the big stuff and the small stuff. Can’t you just feel it?


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