Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Borrowed Faith


"When the world is falling out from under me, I'll be found in You. Still standing."- Brooke Fraser


{Photo: Getty Images}

When I first really starting authoring Style + Wisdom, I was on a Rob Bell kick.  Something about everything he said helped me out at the time and one thing that he said that has really stuck with me over these past years was about “borrowing faith.” He said that sometimes, we aren’t always going to have enough faith our own, but the good thing about living in a world with millions of other people is that we can borrow it when we need it.  And, that there was nothing wrong with doing this.  It wouldn't make you less of a believer in God because you had found yourself in truly hopeless time of sheer despair; it was just a thing we'd all go through at some point.

While you may immediately seek comfort in that, it’s important to see both sides of the “borrowing faith” concept. There are going to be times when your job, your role as a believer in God and even just “good”, is to let someone else borrow your faith.

I don’t think any of us knew how to react to the events that occurred in Newtown.  I, for example, was angry at what happened.  I wanted to write something on the blog that could offer any amount of hope, but I was unsure as to how I could offer anything to these people, who had their children murdered (it feels inappropriate to even type out what happened.)

However, Obama’s speech this past Sunday in Newtown opened a little bit of light on the tragedy.  It was a time when a lot of folks needed some faith and there didn’t seem to be a lot around. Even still, the President had the courage to get up in front of the country and give some inspiration, in a town that had it’s heart ripped out.

Nothing can make what happened okay or easier to deal with, but President Obama did a good job at saying that all of us are grieving and that we can find a little bit of comfort in that we share the pain.  

I think it inspired a lot of Americans to finally step up and lend a helping heart.  It was easy to first embrace fear and hatred when the news of another shooting happened, but as you heard the President speaking, it became time to embrace compassion towards the families. There was a shift in energy the moment that someone stood out and offered a small dose of inspiration.


Maybe it's time to stop speculating on what happened, stop blaming people you've never met, and just embrace hope. Do anything you can to bring up the faith levels within this country.  I’m not exactly sure what that means for anyone in particular who is reading this, but hopefully it sparks something within you to do something. 

While these people grieve, it’s time for the rest of us to have enough faith for them, so that someone out there who needs it can reach out for it. Every small shift in embracing love matters. Even a small dose of hope can change the outlook of someone who holds a ton of fear, hopelessness, and sadness. It takes a lot of evil of this world to get someone to that point, but think about how small of a dose of love it takes to begin to ease away that pain. Love is powerful.   

What can you do today to boost your own faith, if it is time to share with someone who has no faith? What can you do, the thing that you do well in this life, no matter how small to inspire someone today? Even if it's as simple as giving up on some sadness in your own life. Be an example to someone else and show them what strength is.

"Charlotte.  Daniel.  Olivia.  Josephine.  Ana.  Dylan.  Madeleine.  Catherine.  Chase.  Jesse.  James.  Grace.  Emilie.  Jack.  Noah.  Caroline.  Jessica.  Benjamin.  Avielle.  Allison. God has called them all home.  For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory." -President Barack Obama

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