One of the things I like best about this seventy five day spiritual exploration is that each day the Heart prompts what might be explored.
When it was time to write yesterday’s post the Holy giggled. It seemed to want light, ordinary. It desired ease and effortlessness. Memories, blogging, grill, Christmas, Doublemint gum, old-time song. Trying to write a spiritual essay felt impossible, wrong, no-no-no.
Yesterday afternoon I wondered about today’s post. What is the next assignment? What do you want me to explore now?
Sometimes the answer doesn’t come right away. Sometimes I have to wait until the typing fingers caress the keys. Then I watch the words appear and think, “Oh yes, that’s today’s reflection.”
But yesterday Spirit answered immediately.
“Faith,” Spirit said with an unexpected thought. “Let’s talk about faith.”
All yesterday and this morning I’ve pondered faith. Contemplated it with a fresh eye, as if I knew nothing about faith at all.
At first I asked: What, dear Holy, is the difference between faith and hope?
Google answered first, because the Holy uses Google too. (Google can be an expression of the Holy, yes?)
Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind based on an expectation or desire.
We can hope this pandemic ends soon. We might hope 2021 eases any collective fears. We hope for world peace, for the dissolving of seemingly irreconciled views between loved ones, for friends, family and self to remain happy, healthy and well. We might even hope for enough money. For a thousand and one things in this world.
We often pray with our hopes. I want this, we murmur, oh please dear God, dear Holy Heart, dear Great Spirit, dear Higher Self.
Sometimes our prayers are desperate on-our-knees cries of hope. Save us, save him, save her, save me, save what’s near and dear to this heart. Ease this living. Bring a miracle, please. Bring balm for our aching, our pain, our suffering. Human beings whisper words calling hope from the furthest corners of the earth.
Sometimes hope is a soft smile on the lips, a calm in the belly, a ship in the storm.
There is a time and season for hope, is there not?
So what is faith? asks a beginner’s mind going back to this rising moment.
Faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing or belief not based on proof, Google says. Faith says it is so now. Hope says it could happen in the future.
What is faith in the Holy Heart?
I look inside and ask deeply. Ask and wait for an answer beyond Google. Ask for an answer in this very moment.
The first thought that arises: I have faith that there’s something bigger than Kathy. Bigger than you and me. Bigger than this broken and beautiful world. An awareness, a consciousness, that envelops and circles and loves the ordinary expressions and miraculous of the Universe.
That there is something more than rational thought, tumultuous emotions, hopes, worries, concerns, pine trees, family, laughter, tears, mistletoe, Santas and Snowmen on a checker board.
You might call this something God. Or Higher Self. Or Spirit. Or Universe. It’s an umbrella of consciousness that overlays the seemingly separate individual.
Over and over again–countless times–I’ve connected with this something. It’s as true and real as anything materialized in physical form.
Yet it’s invisible.
It can only be reached by faith, and if you try to grasp it, it seemingly dissolves and disappears.
It’s completely empty and simultaneously full.
In the 90’s and early 2000’s I seemed to live and breath on faith alone, and what a wonderful thing it was! I used to say, “It’s all perfect!” and some folks would fuss and fume about that statement pointing out that it’s obviously not perfect, just look at the world, you idiot. I remember responding, “But it’s perfect in its imperfection.”
Yet, faith’s a funny thing, and we can sometimes lose connection to its stabilizing rock. When Spirit led me into the valley of unconscious and repressed human emotions I found myself floundering. The years of unquestioned faith were once again replaced with a sense of being a separate alone human being who had to do everything on her own.
That’s the opposite of faith, isn’t it? The sense that we’re alone in a separate human body. That WE have to do it all. That WE have to make it work. That WE have to somehow keep ourselves and our loved ones alive and healthy and sane. We think it’s US.
The Holy Heart sees everything from the widest view possible. Perhaps the widest view is love. It does not fear anything. It does not shun death. It sees death as another beautiful opportunity for a different kind of awareness. It does not see separateness the way we humans often do. It sees interconnectedness. It sees life, light, joy! In a way that does not push away death, dark, sadness.
Faith, for me, is this remembrance once again. Oh yes. The Holy is running this show. The Holy is in charge. I am but an expression of this heart. What looks dark and dismal and just plain wrong and painful–even that, too, can be welcomed and met with love. Not a love that says it’s “right” or “wrong”, not a love that blindly accepts without responsive action, but a love that’s so compassionate that it doesn’t hide under a rock, doesn’t push away, doesn’t cringe from the sore ache of it.
There’s a surrender to what’s-happening-now instead of resistance. Instead of fighting the moment we can lay down our struggles in the arms of this holy mother/father and be cradled, like a newborn babe in a manger.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this reminder about faith, oh Holy!
And dear reader, please let the Holy speak through you, and share your own knowing of what faith means to you. And how it’s steering and comforting you through these challenging times.
–Day 60–Only fifteen to go!–