What does faith mean to you?
We hear this word a lot don’t we?
I guess that it has many different meanings for many different people.
The definitions as per google is:
“Complete trust or confidence in someone or something”
“Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”
Well, I have to say that I really like number 1 that definitely speaks to me.
Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
I remember as a kid that I would spend every recess outside laying on the grass looking up at the clouds.
I used to see the most amazing things in the clouds, I would see animals and teddy bears and all different shapes, I felt the energy of the ground beneath me and it comforted me, and I felt the energy of “something” else when I gazed up at the sky.
In these moments I felt completely supported and safe in my little world.
I was bought up a catholic and whenever I was at church and the words were being read out it always seemed completely alien to the understanding that I already seemed to have within me.
What was being told to me was not resonating with the deep knowing that I had in my heart about the energy in the world that I felt out side of myself but within myself also.
Now I’m not going to go into a huge religious rant because it’s not all bad and lets be honest everyone needs something and everything has its place.
All that I will say is that I was bought up under description number 2 and it always left me wanting.
The “faith” that I seemed to come into this world with was not something that was taught to me from church because by the time that I was 10 I was becoming very outspoken about my displeasure at what was being delivered to me every week.
Why did I need to go to church to prove that I believed in God became my standard weekly argument.
The God that I knew would never not love me just because I did something wrong, and the God that I knew loved us all no matter what we did.
So my beautiful mum in her infinite wisdom when she could not answer my questions sent me to have a chat to our parish priest.
I will give our parish priest a huge thumbs up because as a person who held a very significant position of power he really could have squashed the curiously and independence of a 10 year old but he didn’t, he asked me to explain to him why I felt the way that I did and what did God mean to me.
I told him that God to me was everything, the sky, the clouds, the birds, the ground, the flowers, the trees, the animals and the people and that I talked to God all the time so why did I have to go into a specific place to prove that I believed in God.
I said to him that I believed that God loved us no matter what we did.
Anyway so much about not getting religious but this lovely man did not squash me, he was very kind compassionate and supportive and actually did not say anything to the contrary of what I had said.
I have confirmed with my mum that after our conversation he actually said to my mum “I could not answer her, everything that she said was right and I couldn’t tell her otherwise.”
Now this is what fascinates me, if my faith did not come from my church environment then where did it come from?
Where does faith come from, what is it, what does it look like, what does it taste like, what does it feel like?
It seems to me to be an incredibly powerful force that if it can’t be grasped or labeled or actualised or contextualised then what is it made of and where does it come from?
Have you noticed that when you are in a situation that you think that you cannot give anymore or have anymore that you have found that when you have dug deep there seemed to be another level to you, some reservoir that you were completely unaware of.
It’s a deep sense that once you have travelled through the layers of fear, panic, desperation, tears and sheer determination that there arises a place of complete surrender where you have no where else to go and nothing else that you can do.
It is like getting to the bottom of the water well and drinking the last drop of water and thinking “OMG” there is no water left I’m going to die of thirst, and as you accept this fact sitting there on your knees, thinking that’s it I’m done theres nothing else, and then miraculously out of nowhere there springs out of the bottom of the well fresh running water.
This is what faith feels like to me, it feels like when you have nothing else left available to you and from no where comes this powerful running force of energy that fills you up.
It comes from deep within you and while you know its of you, you also have a sense that it is also from outside of you.
As this energy wells up within you all of that fear, desperation, confusion and dissolution just seems to melt away and you are left with the thirst quenching feeling of being filled and sated, that all will be well and that you have no idea how, you just know that it will be.
Faith has been that warm feeling of being hugged by something unseen when fear tightens your belly and closes your throat.
Faith is seeing a situation unfolding before your eyes that could potentially ruin your life and as you sit there making a promise to this unseen force that if you could just get me out of this I promise to spend that rest of my life working in your service and the situation before you changes in a split second.
Faith is that feeling of knowing that in the midst of something outside of yourself completely controlling your whole life that somewhere, somehow you are going to be saved from yourself.
Faith is that feeling in your heart that lets you know that there is still hope, even though you can’t see it you just know that its there.
Faith is when all of the roads before you have come to a dead end and you cannot see any other way forward and all that you can do is sit and wait.
Faith is that person who just shows up literally a day after you have put the thought out there that you need someone.
Faith is when the world is doing its best to strip all hope from our hearts through fear and despair but there’s a stubbornness within you that refuses to give up hope.
Faith is when you have absolutely no clue where you are going but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other then a miracle might show up.
Faith is the witnessing of man when he comes to the rescue of his fellow brother with no thought to his own safety.
Faith is all you have left when the world seems to have gone crazy and you keep believing in your heart that all will be well even when you have no proof.
Fatih is not having a clue what it is that I’m supposed to do or where I am supposed to go but knowing deep down inside of me that, if I just follow this or keep doing that it will all reveal itself to me.
My life has shown me over and over again that no matter where I am or what I am doing there is a presence that flows within me and outside of me that is forever guiding me, supporting me and protecting me.
I have a faith that I cannot explain that we, all of us are one, that we all of us are loved, that we all of us are not just random acts within a chaotic Universe.
I have faith that ALL OF US have come into this life with a deep knowing and a deep connection to the force and the fabric that holds this Universe together and that it is available to us and through us always.