When Faith – the Opposite of Certainty – Holds Space for the Light

“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”

By: Jana Greene

So, sometimes I feel like tapping God in the shoulder and politely saying, “excuse me….but I think you have the wrong person. I’m clearly not cut out for the particular set of challenges I’ve been assigned; you might want to re-check your paperwork, or golden scroll, or copy of “Thine Heavenly recruitment Guide.”

Because I fear I’m too wussy to handle this life, especially the pain and sickness that’s a part of it – and I’m sure there are braver and more qualified candidates.

Not that I’d wish it in anyone else.

I call BS on the old adage, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” I’m pretty sure the accurate interpretation is that he will never give us more than HE can handle.

Like, I’m either going to emerge from this (the mess, the emptiness, the discomfort) being humbled, grateful, and accepting; or frustrated, disappointed, and bitter.

I hate to think that the jury’s still out, but that may just be my neurosis talking smack again.

What will probably happen in reality is that I’ll tell you guys I’m upset, register my complaint with God, throw a little emotional tantrum, pout spiritually for a bit, and then ultimately trust God and get over myself. Hopefully, I’ll find the humor in things in the process, too. This seems to be the pattern anyway.

Maybe nobody feels equipped to fulfill what is asked of them, or to haul around leaden worries and bodies they aren’t sure they’re cut out to.

Perhaps “certainty” really is missing the point of faith entirely?

And maybe God is not deterred by our frustrations?

I think Anne Lamont, my favorite author, got it right: Faith DOES include noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.

May God help each of us to get through our callings with acceptance, trust, love, and a generous smattering of humor, until our light returns.

Let it be quickly.

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