Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Journey of Faith

A dear friend bravely shared her personal faith journey with me over the weekend, and below is a collection of faith thoughts that came to mind when responding to her. Apparently, amidst all the members of her congregation who have shared their faith journeys, not a single one has ever experienced doubt about their faith, and she is hesitant to share her personal thoughts.

When I read this, my first reaction was disappointment. I do not believe that people of faith never have doubts. I think that's impossible. Goodness, think of how many people in the Bible had doubts about their faith, and then watch how they grew through those moments of wonder.

I think back to when Mother Theresa's diary was published. Now, I don't think ANYONE'S diary should ever be published - the person who found that diary should have done her a service, and burned it. But rather, it was shared with the world, and I remember the 'outrage' when people discovered that she doubted her own faith. For me, the discovery and subsequent publishing of the diary did just the opposite. Knowing that a person like Mother Theresa had her doubts and reaffirmations about her faith only made her works, her deeds, and her words that much more powerful and meaningful to me. I admired and respected her ten times more knowing she had worked for her faith, and that it did not necessarily come easily to her. It made her all that more human to me.

It's that old adage of it's the JOURNEY, not the DESTINATION. Sounds cliché, but is rather relevant in this context. I don't mean to put down those who have shared their journey at her church, I just wonder how truthful and honest they have been with themselves not to share the whole story. Someone people can only share the happier, more complete parts of themselves with others. They leave out the holes, the struggles, the parts that portray them as anything but completely together. I believe that my friend will bring a unique perspective, as she's only been a part of her congregation for a short period of time. I think what's different for her members is that they've known each other for a long time. I know that sharing my story with my congregation back in WI would be a whole lot different than sharing it here in CO. My story wouldn't change, but I know the reaction to it would.

She mentioned that she didn't censor herself at all in her written faith journey. I think that censoring is a unique way to spin "I'm omitting details that are truthful, and important." That wouldn't be authentic, and it wouldn't change any of the facts. I think about how much more powerful her story will be to those who are listening if they, too have struggled. I know I would be comforted to hear of her struggles, her moments of weakness, only to still see her standing in front of me, still ok, still human. It's all the pieces that make the whole, and sometimes the pieces aren't always whole to begin with.

My heartfelt kudos to a brave soul who is only beginning her journey of faith. What an amazing example she is to us all!


Allison said...

I love this statement:

It's all the pieces that make the whole, and sometimes the pieces aren't always whole to begin with.

Thanks for sharing that great story. I feel the same way!

brenda1eye said...

(From my friend, Linda)

I can hardly believe diaries have metamorphosed into THIS! As you well know, I don't venture far on the internet and I am stunned to think that had this option existed in the 70's and 80's I may well be doing it, too. However, I'm not sure I'm ready to be SOOOOOOO very public.

Anyway, does one congratulate someone on having a blog?

Is this "the way it's done with friends?" Or simply people in the vanguard?

Congrats, again, on the Rockies game performance - well done!