Friday, December 12, 2014


Frederick Buechner quotes one of his college professors as saying: “Every morning, when you wake up, before you reaffirm your faith in the majesty of a loving God, before you say ‘I believe’ for another day, read the Daily News with its record of the latest crimes and tragedies of mankind, and then see if you can honestly say it again.” The author marks the fellow a fool, in the sense that he wouldn’t “resolve, intellectualize, or evade the tensions of his faith, but lived those tensions out, almost torn in two by them at times.” He describes such faith as being “not a seamless garment, but ragged, with the tear showing, and one that he clutched about him like a man in a storm.” Such description leaves me wondering about how we define, not just “faith”, but also “grace”. Both of the terms are part of that one verse in Ephesians where the apostle Paul declares unto us the birthing of our salvation. My own experience suggests that, beyond our initial entrance into the kingdom, there yet remains a need for repeated reassurance, humanity remaining humanity, even “in” Christ; and that is achieve, it seems to me, time after time, via the same process involving the same duo. What’s debatable is the “identity” that each of us assign to them. The first only has as much value as that into which it is entrusted and if that amounts to no more than a theology holding no life but what we, ourselves, create, then it is no stronger than our own mental fortitude. The second, also, is nothing if not known via a “connection”, heaven touching earth within us, for what do we really possess otherwise? Indeed, it, too, much for the same reasons as the first, must be repeatedly found at an altar, an on-going process whereby we learn His arms are always ready to welcome us if we are just willing to return, humble and honest in the truth as we know it thus far……

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