“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
I began this Christmas series as a Grinch and wind things up as a Grinch. It has been ages since I last celebrated Christmas worry-, death-, disaster-, debt-, and crisis-free. For once, I would like to approach the holidays and sail through Christmas with a clean bill of health, no pending disasters awaiting to unravel, and no emotional or psychological issues to work through. Is that too much to ask?
Well, I suppose it could be worse and I could be faithless, homeless, hopeless, helpless, and with no family and friends to turn to. I could have taken the ditsy helpless divorcee route and jumped from one relationship to another, bed surfing until there is nothing left of my soul. But that is not who I am, or what lies at the core of my being.
If I could give myself a gift, it would be selfishness, to indulge in myself and self-pity just for once, during the season of generosity and selflessness. Let me be the grumpy Grinch who regrets certain decisions made in the past year, worries about the huge risks taken in the months that passed, and the Doubting Thomas who questions the future.
It is the fourth and last Sunday of Advent. Today’s Gospel reminds us to believe in the unseen. Leap of Faith. Unlike Thomas, Trust in what your heart and soul know, and treasure what you gain through it. Know that whatever desert you may be crossing, it is temporary, and better things await you, in the grander scheme of things.
There was a touching scene in the Nicholas Sparks book / movie A Walk To Remember that I watched the other day. The protagonist, a young girl dying from Leukemia was asked about her thoughts on love, which apply beautifully to faith just as well: “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
In order to believe in it (IT being whatever the unseen you struggle to believe in: love, unconditional friendship, faith, hope, self-esteem, self-confidence), you have to trust, to embrace the fact that IT has a force beyond your control, will lead you down paths that you cannot predict, and that you are not at the center, but a mere passenger.