Some days I find my faith so restless. Having God in my life is nothing like finding a gold coin, wrapping it in a handkerchief, and walking on with security in my pocket. God is anything but tidy. And the more I know and learn about Him(Her), the more I spill over with questions and find my head spinning.
God is unshakably real, and I know this because I have tried many times to shake Him. Each time I have been -- despite resistance -- drawn back to God's presence, creativity, gentleness, grace. Grace is a word rubbed around the world so much that the meaning is hardly decipherable, but I mean grace: un-reasonable love, a love that knows nothing about measuring what is fair or deserved but that pours and pours out.
Along with this certainty that God is very much alive and real, I also have so many questions. This beautiful world, full of rich relationships, generous people, exhilarating thought, art, beauty, is split wide open in pain -- it is filling with garbage, swarming with starving toddlers, rampant with AIDS, pocketed with wealthy comfort, murdered with hate and superiority, rape genocide, child-trafficking, the deaths of people we adore. Help.
The world -- within us and without us -- is broken.
And yet, God is.
God is God, even and, especially with, all the hurt everywhere. And God is with us. That is what He promises and gives us. That and the reassurance that there is life beyond this life (which sometimes makes us ache with all its sweetness), that all the brokenness of this place, of ourselves, of our relationships will be fully repaired -- the world taken back to Shalom. It's a pretty breath-taking promise.
In yoga class, when we're in mountain pose, the instructor always tells us to move in two directions at once -- to feel our feet root and press into the ground, and to feel our arms, head, and hands move up and out. This is kind of how faith is -- my feet grounding on a solid Presence and my hands reaching up and out into the questions and mystery.