This whole thing began here. In keeping with my meme du nuit tag, I continue with the second part of it tonight.
I used to need to assert my faith; now I need to trust it.
Being faithful is uneasy when your faith is uncertain.
The magical word that I've loved and craved and sought since I discovered it was praxis. I didn't know that word half a life ago, when this whole thing started. I was maybe 15. I hadn't started reading anything yet. I didn't have a vocabulary. I was living in that pubescent world where all the concepts had names I hadn't discovered yet.
But I did know that faith without works was dead. And I had a living faith. I had a living faith. How wonderful it would be to have a... more living faith! And how horrible to have a dead one!
That says it all, doesn't it?
And to make it worse, of course, was the fact that I was, you know, living in the world. In a religious tradition that recognized no saints and didn't allow monasticism. And most of that time was spent trapped in school. No going forth into the world and proclaiming the gospel (which was what?) to anybody. Even if I wasn't squicked by the idea.
Soon enough, faith was stances. Faith was orthodoxy - not Orthodoxy, not catholicity, but just having the correct opinions on the correct signifiers, because maybe it was good? and more importantly the others were what I didn't believe.
My radicalization started that way, trying to reconcile myself to the growing awareness that Jesus was a fair bit less mainstream than I'd initially thought. (It never stopped. Thank goodness.) Eventually it stopped being rhetoric and started being critique: I was able to take apart the world at the roots, at least in theory - and I realized that I had a bigger problem.
Namely, that the stances I was taking were no longer ones shared by anybody I knew.
And that I still didn't have "faith."
Just things I did, increasingly for reasons that weren't churchy any more.
Until last Christmas Eve, I never seriously thought about religion again.
Until Kathy Escobar, I never seriously thought about what I believed.
"To love another person is to see the face of God" is a good line.
It's also a weird foundation. It's challenging, to know that those little bits of things are the stuff I believe - the stuff I trust in, that I rely on, that mean to me.
I'd never thought to trust in that until very recently.
I have a lot of growth to do.