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Faith Anyway

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Faith is an incredibly large word that invites you to see past what you have experienced and embrace God’s vision for you sight unseen.

Fred Gailey understood this, the importance of faith. In the Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, Fred confronts and challenges his beloved Doris’ realistic nature and ways with his own brand of pragmatic, joyful living.

Having just quit his position at a prestigious law firm to go into private practice, a decision she finds foolhardy at best, he tells her, “Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.” By the end of the film, Doris comes to believe life is more than tangible reality, accepting that imagination and trust are the beginning of creating a new life for herself and her daughter with Fred.

God is really, really good at dreaming big things for us, offering them to us, not as grand gestures, but as promises, covenants, that mean God intends to make good and bring these dreams to life.

The ways, the means, the how, are all inconsequential because God will manage all of that. All we have to do is say yes. And keep saying yes, every step of the way forward.

In matters of faith that require me to take constant, successive, steps into the unknown, I am reminded of the following prayerful words, one version of which was found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

There are those who will accuse you of lacking common sense. Often times, the very people who do claim faith in God don’t acknowledge God’s power to bring what has never existed before into their own lives. And yet, God knows them, loves them, and offers them their vision and promise too. Here’s to believing that they will see, as did Doris, what a little imagination and trust can do.

About the Author

Photo of The Rev. Cory L. Kemp.

Photo courtesy of The Rev. Cory L. Kemp.

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.

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