November 30–Faith: Unseen Things

It strikes me that faith is called upon for unseen things more often than we sometimes think.

The doctor says to take this pill.

Someone says to you that what you thought you understood about them was not true, and here is the truth.

You hear the words and see the gestures of someone talking to you but inside yourself the message you perceive is different.

You feel the emotional atmosphere in a room change.

Someone you love has made you angry, sad, scared, and you wish that you could turn off all of those feelings, maybe including the love, but you cannot.  It seems bigger than you.

The tricky, wonderful, scary thing about faith is that it does ask us to trust things that we cannot see.  Sure, we can refuse to participate in relationships and experiences that ask that of us, but I think when or if we should try that we risk becoming something less than human.

Crime studies show that very often people who are attacked on the street or alone in their homes have a sense that something is dangerous and that they should run or beware. So, to the degree that we diminish faith as an intuition, we leave ourselves more open to harm.

Parents simply do not get to have children without fear, anger and sadness.  Those experiences come with any sort of thing that resembles a loving relationship. So, the degree to which we refuse to lean into the unseen is the degree to which we should refuse to enter into loving relationships of any kind.

The truth is that we cannot ever really know another human being.  We can have glimpses, and what we see can always be enlightened.  Other people, like us, are always changing and evolving.

To live and to love requires trusting unseen things–and that’s not necessarily a religious statement.  It’s a fact of being human.

Bob Patrick

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