Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On faith

When I was younger (I am talking preschool, kindergarten age) I was convinced that the world we lived in was really a dream that a man named Charlie was having. 

Incidentally, I have a cousin named Charlie. While I did (and do) think he is fantastic, I did not think he was god... maybe I was just being lazy with my name selection? 


I also thought that when I was asleep and had dreams of my own that I was looking in on a whole other world. I also thought that everyone thought just like I did. It did not cross my mind that someone else did not believe we were just in Charlie's dreams. 

Because I thought it, it was true. 

I also thought that I could speak German. In particular, to my stuffed animals and my favorite blanket (a green bed sheet). I had a whole plot where we were trying to escape Nazi guards and I would speak German to my stuffed animals and blanket (whose name was vobelstauf, which roughly translates to 'green sheet' in my made up German...). Years later I was friends with someone who was actually from Germany and I was actually surprised to find out that vobelstauf was not a real word. 

Because I thought it, it was true. 

My mom told me she invented banana pudding. I believed that fallacy up until high school. She also made up words that I would use on a regular basis with the general public, not knowing they were just cute 'mom words'. (I promise I am not bitter over these lies, I just like to give her a hard time. Love you Mom!)

My point is, that when I was younger there were things that I believed, without a shadow of a doubt, to be true. Maybe it can be chalked up to childhood innocence, but I like to think it is a testament to my faith. 

In my own egocentric, childlike world I had faith in my crazy ideas. They were things that I thought to be true, and so they were. I was blissfully unaware of others opinions; all that mattered to me was that Charlie kept having his dreams. And, oh, how I loved to imagine what the world I got to look in on at night was going to be like. To be a visitor in MY dreams... 

Of course, as you get older, the childlike thinking fades. You discover it isn't your world, there are others here who think completely different than you. And now, all of the sudden, having faith in something is just not enough. You have to have proof. Or at least one other person who agrees that vobelstauf IS INDEED a word. Faith vs. Facts. 

As an adult there are a few things that I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, to be true. A few things I have faith in. 

I have faith in my love for my children. That, to me, is the one thing that is constant, steady and unwavering in this world. 

I have faith in the healing power of laughter. There has never been a time in my life where I was in too much pain to laugh or have laughter help me feel better. Even if it is just .1% better, it always does. 

And then there is my faith in God.

I have a hard time putting this faith into words. When I try to put it into words I feel like I am a child once again, trying to explain who the hell Charlie is to my confused kindergarten teacher. 

I do have faith in something bigger than all of us. All of this. I have faith in the beautiful, thoughtful, awe inspiring world that we live in; a world that is not here by chance.

It may not match Christian faith and it may not match an atheists lack thereof, but it is there. This is my one faith that is a work in progress; it ebbs and wanes, strengthens and is tested. 

But I still believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that my faith is true. Just like if you had asked me when I was six years old if my mom invented banana budding, I would have answered with an emphatic 'YES'. If you asked me now if I believed in a God... 

Yes. Emphatically and always, yes.

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