Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Here, in these writings, I try to explore the deepest mysteries of life, seeking answers to the everlasting questions rising up from the human heart. Nothing that I write here is disingenuous. I love truth too much to write about anything other than what I honestly believe. Here, in words that I have chosen, I lay out my faith, inviting others to share with me what God has given. If there is deep and eternal truth expressed through any my words, it is the truth that comes from eternity, from the Source of all Being and the Source of all Grace. Being human, I am but a reflection of that truth. Created in God’s image, I reflect.
If the faith about which I write is true faith, honestly my own faith, than I will not only reflect upon the truth in my mind and heart with words, but I will also reflect the truth out into the world with my whole self. Actions speak in ways that mere words cannot. My deepest desire is to love Truth Itself, Beauty Itself, Love Itself, and so, to love God – to love God with all my heart and with all my soul, with all my mind and with all my strength. Christ pleads with me from the Cross, begs me to be like unto him, to love as he loves – utterly and completely. What am I willing to give, what am I willing to do, for the sake of love, for the sake of my beloved? I should be willing to thirst… to be fatigued, to even be in agony if that’s what it takes in order to truly love.[i]
How do I love? The poor are among us, all around us: the blind who need help in order to see, the deaf who need help in order to hear, the immobile who need help in order to move.[ii] There are strangers to be welcomed and outcasts to be forgiven; there are wounded to be healed and sick to be cared for; there are hungry to feed and homeless to shelter; and there are those who find themselves imprisoned – by crimes of their own doing, by addictions, mental illnesses, or by loneliness – who need to be visited. Do I take the time and effort to go out of my own way to help my fellow human beings in need? Too often, I’m afraid, my answer is no. Many times I won’t even go out of my own way to be of assistance to my loved ones who are struggling right next to me, because I think that they deserve to suffer a little for some offense that I’m holding against them. In those times, am I not seeing splinters in the eyes of others while being oblivious to the beam in my own?[iii]
And if I won’t get out of my own way in order to take action and help someone in need, then I will never put myself in Christ’s way. I will never find myself on the road upon which he walks, so that I may ask for what he wills and receive his blessing — and thank him.[iv] When I pass from this life and hope to step into the next, I might call out to Christ and say, “Lord, Lord!” But he may say to me in response, “I never knew you[v]… For I was hungry and you didn’t feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me drink, I was naked and you didn’t clothe me, a stranger and you didn’t welcome me, sick and you didn’t care for me, in prison and you didn’t visit me.”[vi] And, oh, the deep, painful sorrow I will feel cutting into my heart… for then I will suddenly recognize all the opportunities that I had in my earthly life to meet Christ face-to-face, to be with him and to love him tenderly, generously, selflessly, with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength… and I did nothing.
Forgive me, my Lord, for all the times that I have forsaken you! For all those lazy, callous and spiteful moments in my life when I took no action to help you in your struggles. I, personally, am not physically strong, like Simon of Cyrene[vii], to be able to hold you up bodily – but I do have enough ability, like a Veronica, to wipe your eyes and provide a moment’s soothing. I can go out of my own way and find you on the road that you travel – on my street, in my community, in my own home – and hold you gently, lovingly, with all that I have and all that I am. Help me, Lord, so that my faith is not dead and alone, but living truly and fully with you – for you, everywhere that you are.
[i] John 19:28, John 4:6, Luke 22:44
[ii] Mark 14:7, Matthew 9:35
[iii] Mat 7:3
[iv] Mat 8:2-3, Luke 17: 11-16
[v] Mat 7:22, Luke 6:46
[vi] Mat 25:34-46
[vii] Luke 23:26