Driving the streets of Barre last Sunday with my mother, en route to visit my grandmother and uncle, I spied a scene outside the passenger window that struck my funny bone. To my right sat a rectangular building with a brick façade adorned with a huge cross and a sign reading “Faith Community Church.”
The humorous part was the “H” in the word “Faith,” that dangled precariously, but in good faith that it would not fall. Three cars were parked in front of the building and since it was late in the afternoon this was well after church ended. It seemed a busy place, not rundown or dilapidated, but their hung the “H” and it seemed both ironic and funny to me.
I turned around and pulled into the driveway to snap a picture. The more I looked at the building, the less funny and the more appropriate that hanging “H” seemed. So often people equate faith with hope – the hope that something will happen. Faith is stronger than hope. Hope is optimistic, faith is expectant – both can be tarnished by life. It’s easy to lose faith, we are warned to keep the faith, and yet, true faith, however tried, hold’s on.
Earlier that day I had spoken to a friend of mine. During the course of the conversation she said she was going through a period where she felt like a child continually asking why. She was not depressed, she assured me, just questioning – why?
“Why’s the point,” I told her. And, I think it is. True faith allows for why. The questions engage us, drag us forward, keep us dancing with life. When we stop asking why not only is our faith dead, we might as well be.
I like the dangling “H,” a faith that allows for imperfection while still ringing true. I like that such a faith stops me in my tracks, leads me to turn around, and in the end, makes me smile.
Writing Prompt: What do you have faith in? When has that faith been tested?