A Statement of Faith

Faith isn’t about remaining unbroken and unblemished. Faith isn’t about keeping it together- if that were so, why would we have need of faith?

Faith is for the moments when we break, when we feel our soul shatter and wonder if we will ever be whole again. Faith is for the moments when we are overwhelmed, cracking under the pressure and wondering if we will know peace again. Faith is for the moments when we are hurt and grieving, crying out in anger and anguish to God, and wondering if we will ever be able to love again.

Faith is for the moments when we listen to the hateful lies we are told about how we look, how we act, or who we are, and we believe the lies. Faith is for those moments when we wonder who could love us, or if anyone could ever love us again.

Faith is the moment when we start picking up the pieces, collecting all of the hurt and broken bits of our soul, following them like a trail of bread crumbs as we search for the way home. Faith is the belief that somehow, someway, God is present in the brokenness, in the spaces where our lives are in shambles.

Faith is picking up the shattered pieces and keeping them close, believing that even if God cannot or will not put them back together, She can at least smooth the edges so they do not hurt so much. Faith is having hope that no matter what form the pieces take- even if they stay pieces forever- God can turn them into something beautiful.

Faith is knowing that God is still there in each and every moment when we feel like we cannot carry on; faith is believing that in the moments when we don’t think we can take another step, God is still there- and She can go on when we cannot. Faith is surrendering that weakness and that brokenness to God. Faith is clinging to the Rock that is higher than our fears even while the tempest threatens to tear us down.

Faith is having the courage to show our cracked and broken soul to others sometimes. Faith is knowing that our words of doubt and of fear can give hope to someone else. Faith is believing God can arrange the pieces of our lives into something hopeful and full of grace- not just for us, but for everyone who sees them.

Faith is fractal, stemming from hope in brokenness, peace in chaos, love in enmity and forgiveness in grace. Faith is hoping that the broken bread crumb trail will lead to the One who is higher than I. Faith is believing that God will take our broken pieces and hold them close. Faith is believing God will keep those broken pieces and all of our treasures safe, if we would only let them fall into Her hands.

But how we hate to do that. We don’t want to trust anyone else with our treasures, our pieces, our lives, or, after we have been hurt by someone dear to us, we don’t want to trust anyone else with our love. Our heart. We don’t want to give up what we think we can control; we don’t think we can trust when we have been let down in love before. We forget how to trust, how to love, and how to hope when we are broken, and that makes faith oh so hard.

We don’t know if we can give God our sorrow, our pain, our brokenness, our problems, our secrets, our shame. We don’t know if we can show anyone those things we don’t want to see ourselves.

We don’t know if we can ever be healed, whole, or in control again. We don’t know if we want to trust, or want to love again. We don’t want to give up our treasures. We don’t know if we will get them back.

So we hold on to our treasures. We hold on to our broken bits, we hold on to our issues, our shame, our regret and our questions. We hold on to our doubts, our insecurities and our uncertainty. We hold on to our grief, our hurts, our joy, our happiness, our life, our plans, our souls, our hearts, our precious objects, everything we are afraid to lose. We hold on to people we love dearly- they are treasures too.

Then we watch in sorrow as everything we held so tightly turns to dust in our hands and gets swept away. We watch as all we had placed our trust in turns to sand. Then…

We break.

We cry and scream, ask questions and doubt, despair and lament. We rage against ourselves, God and the world in general until our anger has gone and sadness takes its place. We forget once we have quieted that rage and lament and questions are holy too. We mourn our lost treasures.

Sometimes on our knees we look down and see that our God has not disappeared. Sometimes we call out to an unseen God and we hear only silence. Sometimes we find an answer… Sometimes we find a cross.

And sometimes we realize that Our brokenness and our shame, our hurt and our weakness, they are not shameful. They are human. They do not need to be hidden from God. We give Her all we have left to give- we give Her our heart, our soul, our life… And our humanity, the one thing we desire so strongly to hide.

And perhaps we realize why we wish each other peace, shalom. A blessing not just of peace but of wholeness. Perhaps we need the peace when wholeness is something we may only hope for; perhaps we need shalom when even hope is out of reach… Or perhaps that is when church becomes a part of our faith; reminding us we are holy, and worthy, we are loved and lovable, and that God may be silent, but at the end of the longest night, morning still comes. We learn, in faith, that peace means something different from comfort.

Perhaps we learn that faith is for the moments when God is silent, a trust in things unseen, unheard, and perhaps, in our deepest, darkest night, faith is trust in things we cannot quite bring our aching souls to believe.

Perhaps we learn that seeking after God in faith will mean that sometimes we seek in darkness. That we do not seek God with all of our heart, soul, and mind unless we are also seeking after God with all of our humanity. All of our fear and our sorrow, our wounds and our scars, our doubts and our questions, our worries and our tears. All of the things we learn very young to keep hidden from the world and especially hidden from our faith. All of our holy brokenness. All of our human hope.

(Originally published Aug. 8 2016. Strongly edited, and republished.)

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