Jim Finley often counsels “keep[ing] faith with your newly awakened heart.” It sounds abstract, but I experienced it as practical advice this week.
Finley has a few examples of moments that awaken our hearts: “a flock of birds descending, seeing children when they’re really children.” I’m not sure what it was for me this week—the blooming jacaranda trees, a feeling of playfulness that resulted from a spontaneous trip to In ‘n Out—but there was a time when creation felt porous, as if the things we consider insides and outsides are separated by much less than we usually think, by something more akin to a cell wall than a cement one.
Then there comes the time to sit back down at the computer at work or read the news, and it is suddenly very difficult to believe in what a few moments ago was readily apparent. This is where the being faithful comes in.
It might help to admit first that it’s hard to do. It’s hard to remember that the jacaranda trees matter when there are Things to Get Done. It’s hard to believe that existence is evolving toward a greater consciousness of love while watching the news.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. We’re being asked to keep faith not with something abstract and far away but with something we’ve felt deeply. These experiences are every bit as real as those we see on the news. We don’t need to choose one over the other; we only need to trust the reality of our own path through life.
Everything is harder when we first start doing it, from walking to using power tools to trusting our hearts. Practice helps. Community helps. Remembering that we will fail again and again but that it doesn’t really matter because creation is there waiting for us to join in the fun helps, too.