girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Friday, February 23, 2007

faith & doubt

my friend jim sent this to ryan a couple of weeks ago,
and i've been reading over it again and again-
especially because conversations some of our community have been in lately.
hope it strikes something...
"because faith is a mystery, we will find ourselves from time to time experiencing doubt, and questioning the very things we have been taught are true.
some religious traditions try to keep doubt from ever reaching the surface of our lives and being spoken, because there is a concern that it will not only lead people to question the institutional faith they have been given, but will also steer them into unhealthy and dangerous belief systems - that it will actually weaken their faith.
in truth, doubt is simply the other side of faith.
one can't really exist without the other.
they are twin movements in our understanding of God and ourselves.
there is no need to fear doubt, because doubt actually helps you make sense of what you believe.
it causes you to question, search, and look for deeper answers.
in fearlessly asking the questions and searching for truth (both about yourself and about the traditions that have been handed down to you), you actually grow up in your faith—you come to a new level of spiritual maturity.
any faith that is not questioned in the fire of life's more challenging moments is a weak faith, because it has no individual understanding and responsibility.
true faith comes from doing what it takes to make sense of who God is in our lives when our lives make no sense, and from wrestling with what God is calling us to do and to be in this world, right to the last moment of our lives.
when you feel doubtful, or find yourself questioning the truth of what you have been told, be gentle with yourself.
don't try to force yourself to believe what seems to be unreal to you.
try to keep your eyes open to see God (vs. your mind's machinations and presentations) in the moments and activities of each day, in the people you encounter, especially those you love, and in the silence of your own soul.
tell God and your loved ones about your struggles and ask for clarity, compassion, guidance, and wisdom.
this is a great gift of your humanity - the ongoing journey that continually deepens faith (through doubts transcended) until we are home again."

renee miller


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