Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve read two memoir-ish books which pulled the sheet off of my faithless lifestyle. Behind the curtain it appears I believe largely in the power of God, but after experiencing how others prayed and listened and waited, my own faith seems bare boned.
Part of it lies in my lack of trust for the horse & pony show-type public faith of some. Another part is my cynical nature and dry humor. My highly cerebral nature. My tendency for Armchair Participation (you know, directing and providing commentary without ever getting out of my comfy leather seat). I believe that God can, I’m just not sure He will nor that He should.
But I have a prayer that I really, really, really want him to answer. It’s a prayer that can see the other side and says, “Sure, we’d be okay if you didn’t. We’d make it. But we really want this.” I want everything to be okay in ways that makes it difficult to catch my breath.
After S/Paul’s conversion, people would find scarves and hankies and clothing hat had touched his skin and took them to others to be healed. Paul didn’t bid them well and say, “here, take a piece of my magic blankie.” But likely taking cues from the Bleeding Woman, their faith brimmed to the point where they believe that touching the cloak would be the tipping point. I’m jealous of their seemingly sketchy faith.
I’m totally one of those disciples sitting in the boat saying, “This does not make sense. I’m glad for you, Peter, that you found a way to walk on water. But nothing about this situation says it will work for me.”
I’m insanely jealous of faith that allows them to rub a snotty rag on their arm and the rash disappears. I’m jealous that they know (in a more-than-theoretical way) they can claim the faith of others as their own when they can’t muster the words or the power.
Sometimes it’s scary to believe. To put yourself out there and trust when everything in you says that God doesn’t have to listen. He can, He could and you hope that He would. But who am I to make demands of God?
I’m not afraid of being wrong. I’m afraid of being disappointed. I set the bar of expectations for God to work so low that he can slide his feet over it without tripping. Sure, I can tell you he’s a high jumper. But why allow room for hope to be deflated? So live in the realm of I do not have, because I do not ask.
Here’s what I need right now: I need someone with that living, down-in-the-bones belief to infect me. Not the soft sentiment of learning a “life lesson” through whatever happens. Not the cheesy responses that turn into Todd O’Neal songs. But I want to stand beside someone who has heavy-lifting faith. Someone who isn’t afraid to trust and set the bar high and does so in ways that don’t lead to selfish gain (because, quite honestly, I’m tired of the stories of finding money in the trash can. That’s nice. But how have others‘ lives been changed by your good fortune?).
I want to sleep with the blankie of a heavy hitter in the faith stadium and know that somehow, in some crazy celestial way, it can rub off. I’ll only need to borrow it for a little while. Please. Or perhaps just tear off the silky edge.
(David Crowder once again says it better than I can – I need words from the Can you hear us album. Excuse the amateur editing.)