Acts of faith

For many people, faith is belief in spite of evidence; it is a belief in the miraculous.

I believe faith is that which enables us to face reality without giving in to despair. It is the way we orient ourselves to the universe, to what is real. It is a way of seeing, not a way of knowing.

I believe that if God is, then God is love. That is to say, I (who am a tiny bit of the universe made conscious) believe that reality is undergirded by love.

This faith does not require me to deny any part of reality, but it does change how I see it.

When I notice the homeless man, sign at his feet, sitting along Kirkwood Avenue, what will I do? I know, of course, that he could be mentally ill, or violent, or addicted. I know that if I engage him it could cost me a couple of dollars and a few minutes of awkward conversation. How does the belief that the universe is oriented toward love affect this interaction? It calls me beyond selfishness and into trust. It calls me to stop, look him in the eye, see him as a human being, acknowledge him as an equal, and risk something, however small.

That, and not a creed, is the true act of faith.

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