Certain of What You Cannot See
This post was written by Mel Lawrenz
Here is one definition of faith: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Faith is not a catalog of things we know because we accumulate knowledge of them through our eyes or ears or touch, but it is the knowledge of things that can slip past the eyes, that are sometimes mere whispers in the ear or a brush along the shoulder. When the disciple Thomas went down on his knees upon seeing Jesus raised from the dead, voicing the absolute statement of trust, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe” (John 20:29). So, on the one hand, there is the evidence of things that “we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched,” as the disciple John put it regarding his experience with Jesus. Then there is faith that reaches across a distance and stands on truth. “Blessed” are those who believe in the God who is beyond our eyes, but whose works flood our vision everyday.
When my daughter was a baby and my wife would put her in my arms and leave the room, the baby’s head would shift, eyes would scan back and forth, brow would wrinkle, and then-most certainly-came that cry of distress. A cry that cut to the quick. I knew that she was thinking, “Mom has disappeared. She is gone. She has ceased to exist. And I will never ever see her again.” A baby does not have the cognitive ability to know that someone continues to exist even when the physical evidence is withdrawn. Babies cannot be “certain of what we do not see.”
But give the kid a couple of years and he or she will understand that the doorway to the next room is not a monster’s mouth swallowing up the next person to pass that way. He or she will even come to understand that Mom or Dad can be in Cincinnati or Los Angeles or London, and still exist; more importantly, that they still exist in relationship. Not being visible is not the same as not being. And sometimes your relationship with someone is even stronger when there is some distance.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 at 2:00 am and is filed under Everything New.
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