I firmly believe writing is now an exercise in faith for me.
Would I have said this 5 years ago?
But the more time I log at a desk, ideas hit me, I see something greater at work.
What strengthens you?
In Greek, the root word for faith, offers us both a noun – pistis and a verb – pistueo (believe).
I love the duality of such a word. It involves our heart and our hands. It isn’t simply verse memorization or Sunday School bible trivia. Faith requires exponentially more.
A pastor, at a new church we attended last week, spoke on just this. He differentiated on two terms I use often.
He said, “Hope is future-oriented and faith is today.”
I immediately thought of the scripture, as so many of us can recite by heart: Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
And I thought of so much Thomas Merton literature I’ve read since last year. He went into far greater depths than this blog (a lifelong quest really) to serve as a witness that faith was applied daily. It was growth at a much more practical level than anything I’d done prior. He emphasized how any act could be an act of service, a chance to serve One greater.
Merton likened his writing testimony to Christ’s sacrifice:
To be as good a monk as I can and to remain myself and to write about it. To put myself down on paper, in such a situation, with the most complete simplicity and integrity, masking nothing, confusing no issue: this is very hard because I am all mixed up with illusions and attachments…
One of the results of all this could well be a complete and holy transparency: living, praying, and writing in the light of the Holy Spirit, losing myself entirely by becoming public property just as Jesus is public property in the Mass. Perhaps this is an important aspect of my priesthood—my living of my Mass: to become as plain as a Host in the hands of everybody. Perhaps it is this, after all, that is to be my way of solitude.
And from this quote so many things jump out –
- the importance of being ourselves
- living simply
- masking nothing
- avoiding confusion
- admitting confusion
- showing transparency (in life, prayers, everything)
- writing as a form of worship
- losing ourselves in One greater
- finding refuge
And if that list doesn’t startle us to action, then I must share this other Mertonism: Faith relies completely on him in perfect trust … letting him take care of us without knowing how he will do so.
Whether in word or deed, everything matters.
Now I admit, many things can be chalked up as trivial in our day-to-day lives – hair products, favorite brands of peanut butter, type of GPS we use to get from place to place. But faith is learning to see beyond these things and learning to sink our teeth into something more indiscernible, something less mundane.
Communion with others …and communion with God while being with others (and being intentionally alone) is something very much in this realm and also the spiritual.
Every time I type on a keyboard, write a note by hand, this is a moment to give. It’s a chance to grow. It’s service to you, to others, and ultimately Him.
Think about your life. Where you’re currently at. How can you grow your faith where you stand, sit, sleep, eat?
If you coach soccer, or cook dinner for the family, or service hundreds of screaming kids at VBS/church, this is faith. It’s a chance to do more than Disney wish or blindly hope.