Keeping the Faith

prayer-on-my-knees4

I wish I had the capacity for forgiveness and the faith in God that the families of the victims of the South Carolina Church massacre exhibited at the arraignment of that: racist, terrorist, murderer… monster yesterday.

 “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don’t.

 “An eye for an eye….we are all blind” ~Dalai Lama XIV

I am not a religious person, or I should say, I simply don’t practice my faith in the confines of a religion. I never could find a church that I felt comfort in. I never sat in a four walled building of worship and felt God’s presence.

But, I have chosen to believe in God – a higher power, nonetheless. I pray often, mostly outside with the serene peace of nature all around me. This is the only place I feel the touch of a higher power. This is the only place answers come to me. For me, church (Read: nature) is a place where I can see the beauty of His work. Only there do I seem to be able to find faith and the strength to believe.

 “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” ~Dalai Lama XIV

So, yes, I believe in God – it’s a choice I have made for myself. But, I admit my faith is shaken every time another heinous act is committed. When I see the hate and destruction we cause each other it’s hard to find answers, hope and faith.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”~ Martin Luther King Jr.

If God isn’t protecting his own house and lets evil in to destroy his worshippers – where is he?

Where. Is. He?

Matthew 7:13-14 – 13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Thank you for sharing this with me Renee Wheeler)

I know to my faith-filled friends and family this is blasphemous language. It scares me to think it, let alone say it – but I can’t NOT say it.

Am I to believe – if we endure all of this hate, ugliness, destruction of mind, body and spirit on Earth and we don’t become the darkness ourselves, if our faith remains strong, we will gain passage to heaven? Unwaveringly believing in God when it’s nearly impossible to do so.

2 Corinthians 5:6-7 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.

I, personally, struggle with that.

But, that’s exactly what the victim’s families did yesterday. As I listened to their words of grief, forgiveness, love and faith I cried – cried like a selfish child who wanted something they could never have. I want to be a person like that, I strive to be a good person, a kind person… a person of worth.

But, I’ll never be a person of blind faith. I’m sad to say it just isn’t in me. The ugliness sometimes shines brighter than the beauty and I waiver.

But, I still believe in God. I heard his voice through the words of his devout, grief-stricken believers yesterday. My own faith isn’t impenetrable, but I saw Him – through them and I was humbled.

 “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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About Jody

This blog, like this girl is an ever-changing work in progress. The second I think I know myself I go and change. I write - some good, some bad. But, I write... I am a writer.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Faith, religion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Keeping the Faith

  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent Jody. Perk AKA SSD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear you, dear friend! I feel the main reason my mother lost her faith had to do with all the tragic things that occurred in her life, to the point that it crippled her with bitterness.

    In spite of all this unreasonably vicious tragedy, it’s best for us all to take a step back, assess what it is that makes us feel helpless, and come up with ideas to promote peace…. whether that be peace in our own environment, or a global peace.

    Keep looking to nature… you will find your answers within.

    Lastly, remind yourself that Anne Frank believed that there were some good people out there, in midst of what was happening around her….

    “It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” – Anne Frank

    hugs, S.

    PS
    I send you this quote with love in my heart… (and this comment will probably make you cry, but I hope they are good tears)

    “At such moments I don’t think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: “Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you’re not part of it.” My advice is: “Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy.” –
    Anne Frank, March 7, 1944

    Like

    • Jody says:

      You know more than many how the words of Anne Frank always bring me solace when the world feels too heavy. And I’m going to take her advice and yours and simply go outside. Love you dearly, my dear friend. ❤

      Like

  3. nancy1941 says:

    Be an advocate for peace. Forgiveness.

    Like

  4. greg shipman says:

    Morning Jody,

    You have made me a fan of your blog… not an easy thing to do. You have also made me a fan of your honesty and openness of both thoughts and feelings.

    I come from a background of both religion (Southern Baptist) and pragmatism (mean streets of Baltimore). I believe in God, not so much the socialized practice associated with His name.

    So from the pragmatic standpoint I believe in forgiving and even loving my enemy or tormenter… but mostly after they’re dead.

    greg

    Liked by 1 person

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