Saturday, August 18, 2007
The Opposite of Faith
I just wanted to say a little something about the quote that's been hanging out at the side of my blog for a while. "The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty." Anne Lamott said this in an interview on NPR a while ago. She probably had no idea it would end up in print on somebody's blog. But, in any case, it resonated with me in a way I could never have expected, and the concept has come back to Mango & I numerous times in the several weeks since I wrote it down. It's just a little gem of wisdom that fits some thoughts together neatly in a new way. Lots of people scratch their heads at this idea. But here, let me break it down. If you are CERTAIN, you are not employing faith. Faith means you are believing in that which you cannot see, that which you cannot know. I am so comforted by this. Faith is not a religious platitude to make us feel better. Faith is messy. Faith is when you are living on the edge. Faith is when you are so confused and unsure and blind and scared. And you believe God anyway. Just God. You don't know anything else, except that God is. And you know the tiny glimmers of God that have flashed through the dirty lenses of life. You know some little bit of who God is. And that has to be enough. Because nothing else is certain. You simply have faith. And that isn't cute or religious or easy.