Updated: Nov 2, 2018
Growing up I was taught to have faith in God. I separated that from having faith in people, because along with a faith in God it was implicit that mankind could not be trusted. Fallible, awful creatures that we are. There's a history there that I won't go into now, but I'm sure you have seen evidence of religiosity versus faith at one point in your life. Religion ranked pretty darn high in mine. I think we've done a gross disservice associating anything to do with God to organized religion. But, that's not my topic today, really.
I shared in my introductory post that I will blog about a few things, but honestly, I have come to realize that there is one theme here. One reason that I write. Faith. But faith should be more than believing in God. Such belief, seems to me, worthless unless accompanied by faith in humanity. I use that word often, I think. HUMANITY. It describes us all. And I like that. A lot.
If I truly have faith that we humans were created in the image and likeness of an Almighty Creator, I must not only believe in the good in humanity, but also do something to honor that. To recognize the good in each living soul as a creation of the Master. Whether or not they agree with my world view, philosophies, faith, or religion. I can simply recognize the power of the living God within anyone. That changed everything for me. When I went from believing in a religious view to embracing faith.
And that's why I'm here. I write real-life stories about myself or people I know and the emotions we have. Why? Because I want you to believe that your story matters and that you're not alone. I want to promote the idea that there is a real purpose for which we were each created, and to encourage as many hearts as will listen. Because I think you matter. And I believe that God does too. Then I'll write fiction about people I've never met, or, more accurately, about people I've encountered. I use some of their real stories to carve a path into my make-believe world where the emotions are so deeply felt that I cannot express them in tangible scenes, but must paint word pictures that become a balm to my soul within a realm I cannot touch. Why? That it may offer you a soothing calm to your pain as well. Become a gateway to dialogue about emotions you may not have addressed. Be a simple comfort in knowing that you can relate. Spark a conversation about purpose and meaning in this life or beyond. And hopefully even inspire a call to action so that an injustice may be righted.
Therein lies the theme. Not just believing, but doing. Being. Asking. Exploring. Growing. Living a true faith.
I don't often give a list of this-or-that to follow, but I do know that we can all benefit sometimes from a take-away truth. No formulaic solutions to cure any woes, but something to grab onto. So, I'm going to challenge myself (and you!) to not just believe, but to show it.
Maybe we can take the time this week to:
– share a piece of our story with someone who needs to hear it.
– hear someone else's story.
– deepen our faith in God by setting aside a time to simply listen. No preconceived notions, just searching.
– deepen our faith in people by connecting with someone not quite like us. Maybe they even need our help.
– reach out for help if in need.
– immerse ourselves in the imaginary tale of someone going through a life that looks a bit like ours. Emote. Imagine. Feel. And start a conversation about it.
– be open to an opportunity we might serendipitously encounter. And take it.
Whatever it is you choose, simply do it. Let's be more than what we say that we do or don't believe. Let's live a faith that is evident by our actions. No religion required.