Faith is not being sure. It is not being sure, but betting with your last cent…Faith is not a series of gilt-edged propositions that you sit down to figure out, and if you follow all the logic and accept all the conclusions, then you have it. It is crumpling and throwing away everything, proposition by proposition, until nothing is left, and then writing a new proposition, your very own, to throw in the teeth of despair…Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your inmost self questions at night and then getting up and going to work…Faith is thinking thoughts and singing songs and making poems in the lap of death.

(Mary Jean Irion, from “Yes, World: A Mosaic of Meditation“)

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I am certain these words were written for me. I need their deep-breath-ness: when desire seems foolish, far away, and graspy; when not being sure is both ghost and muse.

I am certain these words are the only ones I can offer others when deep breaths are needed but hard to come by: when blows,  disappointments, and heartaches buffet; when not being sure seems the only dependable thing.

And though I am loathe to admit it, these words remind me that not being sure is the only way to experience faith, hold on to hope, and believe in love. I’m certain of it.

None of this is pretty, or easy, or even sane. But then, few things of deepest passion and lasting value ever are.

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I type these words praying they are true; that the hard things of life – in mine and others’ – are the very things that invite the certainty of faith’s reward. I’m not sure…

And maybe that’s the key. Letting go. Loosening my grip. Deep breaths. Allowing uncertainty and un-sure-ness to carry rather than bearing the intolerable burden of demanding answers or assurance.

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Faith is not being sure. It is not being sure, but betting with your last cent…Faith is not a series of gilt-edged propositions that you sit down to figure out, and if you follow all the logic and accept all the conclusions, then you have it. It is crumpling and throwing away everything, proposition by proposition, until nothing is left, and then writing a new proposition, your very own, to throw in the teeth of despair…Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your inmost self questions at night and then getting up and going to work…Faith is thinking thoughts and singing songs and making poems in the lap of death.

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Endless thanks (again) to Lianne Raymond for this quote.

 

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