Updated: Sep 6, 2022
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1 Good News Bible)
I was raised in a Christian home but went to public school. I was always exposed to people who didn’t go to church. Some of the people I knew (and know today) had (and have) some very strong opinions of Christianity. Some of those assertions are correct, but a lot of them miss the mark of truth.
One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother singing “Into My Heart” while she babysat me. I was probably 3 years old at the time, and she sweetly sang the words, “Come into my heart, Lord Jesus! Come in today, come in to stay, come into my heart, Lord Jesus.” I remember her smiling at me and asking me if I’d asked Jesus into my heart. Being 3 at the time, I told her I hadn’t. In fact, I barely knew who Jesus was, although my parents prayed daily and read a children’s Bible to me. My grandmother scowled at me and screamed that I was going to go to hell if I didn’t have Jesus in my heart. I had no idea what hell was, but it sure seemed like a terrible place, since my grandmother said those words with so much disdain! I did NOT ask Jesus into my heart that day. But her words never left me. My mother can verify that while she did not witness this conversation, it sounds a lot like her mother, and she believes my account.
Skipping forward to the present, I have found myself having faith in a lot of things that I cannot see. I’ve been certain that some of my hopes will become a reality. I had faith that one day, I’d meet someone and marry him. I was sure that God intended for me to become a mother, and through the miracle of In Vitro Fertilization, I have Isaac. I am certain that although my current job situation stinks, I’ll be able to find a really good one, with an employer who will appreciate my skills and talents. Maybe this time, I can find a job that supplies coffee for the employees!
Getting back to the people I’ve known who have their own take on who God is and who his followers are… Whose faith is stronger? Those who believe in God, or those who have no faith in any god? We Christians hope for what we do not see. We believe that there is a God who loves us! When my friends claim that Christians are idiots, I can’t help but think that they have closed off a part of themselves that looks in the places we cannot see.
I do find that last thought a bit depressing, especially when I look at Mark 4:11-12: He told them,
“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
It’s nothing you or I have done that causes some to not have faith. But we can still try to help them. We can still shine that light, keep faith alive in hope. There’s still a chance for our friends to figure out the truth, even though we can’t plainly see it or understand it. Jesus’ parables hold wisdom for many, not just a few. And we can hold on to hope that more will see it.