Sunday, November 20, 2011

We Are Not Alone...

Many years ago (Grade 10 or 11) in Youth Group we were talking about faith statements.  As a part of the discussion we were asked what we remembered from things such as the 10 Commandments, the Apostle's Creed and the UCCan New Creed.  From what I remember, it is good we were not being graded on what we remembered.

However, I know what I remebered most clearly.  It was that the line "We are not alone" was at the beginning and the end of the UCCan Creed.  I think that tells me something.

As a teen (and well into my twenties) I often felt alone.  PArt of it was a feeling of not really fitting in. Part of it was, in retrospect, a feeling of not being comfortable in my own skin.  But I often felt alone {remember that feeling alone/isolated often has nothing to do with how many people are around}.

Now at one point in my teens I thought this was a good thing.  In Grade 9 Language Arts we used Simon & Garfunkel's I am a Rock as one of our poetry pieces.  ANd I, who was going through the worst year of my school-bullying life, decided that it would make a good model for life--try to be the rock, the island.  It was safer.  I'd be happier.  But looking back I see that I was trying to convince myself.  And that I was not really successful.

And the point of all this?  Well we are drawn to faith because there is something in our faith that speaks to our deepest hopes or fears or anxieties or wounds (or all of the above).  25 years later I think that "we are not alone" stuck with me because it is what I deeply needed to hear.  And I think I still need to hear it.  For me, the reminder of the God who is always with us "in life, in death, in life beyond death" is not just pop theology.  It is a theological at-one-ment statement.

So maybe the key to faith is finding what we most need to hear at that point in our lives.  Ask what our deepest fear/anxiety/woundedness/empty space is and then ask how we find GOd responding.  It isn't as simple and esy as claiming that there is one answer that works for all people, one way we are made at one with God.  But to me it is more realistic and a whole lot less arrogant.

Or maybe I am chasing the wind....

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