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A Faithful Skeptic Who Witnesses Acts of Love and Kindness
by Midge Greentree
Editor's Note from Blaze, aka Barbara Lazarony: Where do you find faith? How do you know? Here's one skeptic's point of view...
I’ve never really had much faith, even as a young child. I guess it’s because I’ve never really felt faith, known it.
What exactly is faith? What does it feel like to know faith? How do people find it? I’ve heard of people finding religion, maybe a spiritual path. I’ve heard tales of Aha! moments, epiphanies, awakenings, enlightenment, and truth. Are those the breadcrumbs along the path of faith? Or is faith the breadcrumb along the path toward these equally elusive states of being?
More importantly, why does faith seem to exist somewhere above and beyond my natural capabilities to think and reason? And why can’t I get there? Actually, why won’t I go there?
Sure, I understand the basic definitions of the word faith, straight from Oxford—having complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
Complete trust? Do people really experience complete trust? What’s that like?
Spiritual apprehension? In this case, I take apprehension to mean understanding and not fear, although fear seems to be a common factor among many religions—it’s a common factor among humans, isn’t it?
These definitions merely add to my state of wonderment about faith.
The skeptic in me wonders, Do I have complete trust in anyone or anything? Even myself? I honestly can’t answer that right now. I don’t think so, though.
You see, the world is an ever-changing place, especially its inhabitants, actually its people, including me. My life among them is ever-changing as well. My mind changes constantly, sometimes instantly. In fact, I am a temporary being. How do I know that what I think I believe today, I’ll actually know to be true tomorrow? I’m reasoning on a daily, moment-to-moment basis. I am a new, and hopefully improved, being each moment.
But I see what faith does for people, the peace of just knowing, without the heavy burden of evidence and reason, that it brings, and I think, I’d like to know a little of that. Sometimes I would. Really. But I can’t just make myself understand and know faith—my mind, despite my daily practice in training it, is what it is—and it’s not so easily managed or calmed. It thinks, sometimes over thinks, and reasons.
Faith? Let me think, even reason, it over.
You know, come to think of it, there is one little something in which I have a great amount of faith—it’s called love. And the evidence that love exists, that it’s real and true, is kindness.
Now, I could look up the Oxford definitions of love and kindness, but I don’t want to because I already understand and know love, and I’ve seen and experienced kindness. I have. Haven’t you?
In my everyday little moments, call them what you want, I have found faith in love and kindness.
I’d venture to say that I’ve reasoned my way toward understanding and knowing faith, simply through witnessing acts of loving kindness. I have given and I have received. In loving kindness, I have complete trust. I have faith. I know it.
In whom or what do you have faith? And what are your reasons?
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About the Author
Midge Greentree teaches and writes, but mostly she's a woman who's working on a wondrous, wild wisdom - daring to live life out loud with compassion, kindness and a little mindful, happy humor. She lives and loves with her family in the beautiful woods of the Pacific Northwest. You can read more of her wonderings and writings at A Wild One Within, or connect with her on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.