June 26, 2012

If you came here thinking this post is about the Bible, or Christianity or some other topic common to organized religion, you’ll be disappointed. But it IS about faith, and how some of us, me in particular, struggle with it.

Hanging in my home office

 Ok. So this is what I think faith is: Belief in something when common sense tells you it’s not possible.

If you’ve got any sort of thought process at all, and most of us do, you’ve been trained to use your common sense.  It’s one of the things that gets us through this life. Faith goes against that grain. Entirely.

But then, things happen that make no sense.  Bad things, unfair things, challenge our faith, while good things seem to reinforce it. Sometimes faith can help us through the hard times. Sometimes it’s just not enough.

I’ve had my own struggles with faith. It was clear early on that I be only an ethnic Catholic, that I didn’t buy the tenets of Catholicism. Then, over time, I realized that no organized religion really works for me. It just seemed that “organizing” religion somehow corrupted it. Plenty of proof, too.

When my mother died, I wasn’t sure how much of a comfort her Catholicism was to her. I know it provided no answers to my questions. After her death, without aiming to, I set out on a journey of faith.

What happens to us after we die? I asked my friends, my lovers. What do you think happens?  When medium John Edward’s first televison show came on the air, I’d be riveted to it. Was he real? Was there really life after life? Could he really talk to souls on the other side?

Without faith, I looked for evidence. Hints. Indications.

The first thing that happened was that I felt, strongly, that John Edward was real. That he really could communicate with those who had crossed over. Years passed, maybe six or seven. Then, I saw him. Several times, actually. And each time, he brought me messages and information that were clearly not random.

I read everything I could about the afterlife. Near-death experiences.  Still, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t have faith. My friends and I talked about it. I wrote about it HERE and many other times.

It wasn’t there. I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t even sure I knew what it was.

And then, one day, something really big happened. Something unexpected. That I had never considered.

It wasn’t Lazarus or loaves and fishes.  But for me, in my life, it was in that category.

One day, the phone rang and out of the blue, I heard my first husband tell me that he wanted us to remarry.

You have to understand that this was completely unexpected, even shocking. That we had been married almost nine years and divorced for almost 30 more. That we had not seen one another in all that time. That there had been no flirtation.  Not even a little hint of anything brewing. That we had not reconnected on Facebook or Twitter.

When my voice returned, I could only say, “But we haven’t seen each other in almost 30 years!”

“What,” he said, “do you think I don’t know who you are?”

It took me  a while to say “yes.” But once we had remarried (37 years to the exact day and time of our first wedding), I realized this:

Once we were married (again), I found all my dreams coming true. I was living a life I loved with a man who fit me in all the important places. Places that must have been reserved for him, because no man after ever fit them.

But, it was puzzling. How could this happen to me?

Finally, the inescapable conclusion was that Source, God, whatever we call it, has an incredible sense of humor.  I realized that it was His/Her hand at work and that he was sitting out there, smiling benevolently, saying,

“Well, you said you wanted proof…”

So here’s what I’ve come to believe:

None of this is random. There is a Master Plan and just like it Max Ehrmann said in the Desiderata, the Universe is unfolding as it should.

There is life after life. Its nature is not something we can fathom because our current evolution is so limited. You might say we’re still too primitive to get it.

In fact, we’re too primitive to get much of what is possible. Just like back in the Dark Ages, the road is long and we won’t get there in our lifetime.

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