Faith comes in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some say you must walk by faith, not by sight; others say you don’t know you have it until it is the only thing that you have left. Faith can be a tricky thing these days with so much at our fingertips through the Internet and advances in science.
The type of faith you see in the movies is not the type of thing that happens in real life. But when God tells Moses in the Ten Commandments to lead his people, Moses does it. He doesn’t hesitate, although its good if you are built like Charlton Heston and had been an Egyptian general prior to leading a slave revolt. It must have taken an unbelievable faith to realize that your former slave driver was now going to be your deliverer.
This past weekend was the 100-year anniversary of the Easter Uprising in Dublin that many credit with putting Ireland on a path to shared power in its own country. The faith of those that occupied the General Post Office on O’Connell Street, in the world, to realize that its attempt to win freedom was hopeless, yet inspiring, was as the Irish say, brilliant.
There are Christians in Muslim countries that have worshiped in peace for centuries but who find themselves in the path of a holy war, yet continue to worship because they believe. Faith is strong, but it does not cause one to kill in the name of God. That’s not faith, that’s murder. Many times in the past people have changed their outer religions to continue to survive, but have kept their inner faith strong. That is strength.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a few funeral masses. Not my favorite thing to do, but I was inspired by the shepherds who led the proceedings. They did not preach down from pulpits, but waded out into the congregations and spoke plainly and directly, and inspiringly. Those moments give me faith that religion is not dead, that God is not dead, despite what we read and see happening all over the world.
Faith does not have to be the big splashy movie thing, it can be the simple gesture done with love. For faith is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. We believe in goodness, we believe in God, we believe in one another. As Tug McGraw once said, you gotta believe, and I believe we do. And I have faith that you do too. Shalom Rockaway.