Many of us think of faith has having to do with a belief in God or some form of organized religion.
We talk about putting faith in some person, system, doctrine, or deity.
We tend to think of blind faith as believing in some God without proof the It exists.
But here’s where the contradiction comes in, for we also use the phrase seeing is believing as loosely as we do the previous buzz phrase.
To see is to believe.
That, Journeyer, is where a great deal of our confusion with regards to religion comes in.
How, I ask, can we have blind faith when we need to see to believe?
Those sorts of paradoxes wreak havoc on our subconscious, and when we are able to tap into our inner conflict, it creates another entirely different type of conscious controversy.
It cannot be both.
There are two types of faith: 1) There is the faith in someone or something, an inner belief that inspires us to keep moving forward and 2) there is a faith that we follow, as in a doctrine or religion.
These two types of faith are autonomous, despite the fact that we often talk about them as being synonymous.
Those faiths are tested by other quotes and cliches that we toss around like leaves in a windstorm: God’s not a cruel God. When God closes one door, he opens another (or a window.) It’s God’s will.
The former of those two was the last piece of my grief puzzle.
Here was my dilemma: The very definition of cruel means to knowingly inflict pain on another. If God did, indeed, choose to end my son’s life by suffocation a mere twenty-six minutes after birth, He would know the fear and suffering my child would endure as he gasped for air and He would understand the depth and breadth of the anguish that would follow me for years.
That will or plan, then, would be nothing other than cruel.
Spiritual leaders asked me to accept, to have faith–without question–that God knew what he was doing when he “plucked a rose to make heaven more beautiful.”
And, yet ,what I repeatedly saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears was an ongoing, sometimes lifelong void or desperate inner struggle in Grief Neighbors who had experienced some form of The Five D’s.
“Life is so unfair!” some wail.”
“Why did God do this?” others beg.
The faith that resides inside of us and the faith that is found in something outside of us.
I talked about both of those things when I wrote the following passage in my memoir, Digging for the Light: One Woman’s Journey from Heartache to Hope:
Every piece of hope I’d ever held onto before had just been shredded. My faith in people, my trust; my belief in God, in dignity—every spiritual, emotional, social, physical, and academic part of me lay in a heap to be tossed out with the garbage.
It never made it to the garbage.
I recycled it instead.
For a brief while, I let the faith outside of me dictate my mood and control my conscious thoughts.
And yet, my inner faith gave me hope that, even as I sat broken in a heap on my kitchen floor, my circumstances could one day be better.
The interesting thing is that these two entities can tear the other down or strengthen it.
When we give Our Inner Faith and The Outer Faith their own identities, when we recognize the role each is playing in whatever circumstance we are trying to reconcile, we embark upon a transition from grief to healing.
Where will your faith take you, Journeyer?
Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,
Together we can help heal a world of hurt, Journeyer! I hope you’ll consider joining our neighborhood. It’s as easy as entering your information in the box at the bottom of this page.