A Faith Far Too Timid

My faith is far too timid.

It is quiet and nonconfrontational. It likes to hide in the corners and blend in with the furniture. It chooses not to discuss politics.

My faith is an opportunist.

It finds firm ground to rebuke misbehavior while shifting the weight of its plank from shoulder to shoulder. It swallows whole the commandment “Honor Thy Father & Mother.”

My faith is tired.

It stays up too late and wakes up too early and drinks too much caffeine. It’s as heavy as a stack of Bibles placed upon my eyelids. It glorifies the words “Tomorrow, I will…”

My faith is shallow.

It has learned to tread water but fears the deep end, where that knowledge will be forced into action. It delights in splashes and somersaults but only where its feet can still touch the bottom. It is satisfied to just be in the water at all.

My faith is self-conscious.

It wonders what people might think if it casually talks about prayer and blessings and what it means to commune with God, as if those things are daily occurrences. It wonders if those words will sound as phony in others’ ears as they feel in its mouth.

My faith is lazy.

It writes blog posts about God on Easter and Christmas and includes words from the Bible, knowing full well that is the most it has read in weeks. It sometimes goes to Bible study, and often says yes when asked to volunteer. It wings up a prayer before dinner, then grumbles at the crumbs littering the carpet.

My faith is dependent — absolutely dependent — on the promise of a reconciling God.

It is mindful of that beautiful, scandalous night but is too often forgetful or uninterested. It is inconsistent at best, it relies too heavily on eloquent prose and heartfelt music to be moved, it is swollen with hypocrisy and starving of compassion.

My faith is a paradox, a contradiction, a coward.

My God is brave enough and big enough to embrace and invite the paradoxes, the contradictions, the cowards.

My faith has nothing to do with me, and for that it is grateful.



Filed under Faith

13 responses to “A Faith Far Too Timid

  1. Ricky Anderson

    You write them good words.

  2. Running from Hell with El

    Like everything else, I reckon faith is complicated . . . you know? But simple too, in its way.

  3. Love this. Beautiful choices of words.

    I hear ya. I am the same in many ways.

  4. I think you’re not giving yourself enough credit.
    But then again, that’s probably not the point of the post 😉

    (Beautiful writing, honest thoughts. That’s MY point.)

  5. You’re back! 🙂

    Well done my friend. I enjoyed this.

  6. Larry The Deuce

    This is good….and I don’t think you are alone.

  7. Oh Jess! This takes my breath away. I mean for real. I held my breath, no knowing where you were going. I was scared. I am writing about Tech’s bar mitzvah in a mini series. It was a powerful weekend, filled with spirit and joy. And my faith is strong. But I forget about things, too. And it’s not all about the party. But that is for other people to figure out. I know what I know. It’s not my job to sell others. THAT is where we part ways, huh? That can feel like pressure. Like you aren’t doing enough. But this post does it. Your words do it. All the time. Psyched to be on your team. 🙂

  8. My faith is like yours. It knows the words, but finds it doesn’t live them. If confesses on the Internet, but carps at family, struggles with humility…

    My faith is best expressed in the words of the late Rich Mullins:

    “If I stand, let me stand on the the promise that You will pull me through. If I can’t, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You. If I sing, let it be for the joy that has borne in me these songs. If I weep, let it be as a man who is longing for his home.”

    So thankful that God believes in me much more than I believe in Him, for “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” I have faith at all, because God first had “faith,” and sent His Son.

  9. I think our faiths must be related somehow.

  10. Pingback: Friday Five « edhyndman.com

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