25 January 2014

Parable of Faith and Practice

Dali Crucifixion hypercube.jpg
Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) by Salvador Dali (1954)
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York City


For an exercise in Christianity, she pretended belief in case behavior changed experience.  Actors do it all the time, she mused. They pound tables in pretend anger, for example, until they pound angrily.

So she pretended to believe in Jesus Christ and the Resurrection, as if Jesus was not a son but God himself, God in human form. The hardest part was calling God Jesus.

She practiced until “Praise Jesus” came to her lips easily; she heard God in Jesus’s Biblical voice; and witnesses experienced her as Christian.  She decided she needed more practice, though, because to her this was still performance, not reality.

She practiced until a congregation grew around her; she enjoyed testing her leadings with the people who gathered; and weighty elders felt she was one of them.  She testified and listened, taught and studied scripture, wrote letters and poems.

She decided she needed more practice, though, because Jesus had not yet appeared to her.  And though she had joy, she also had questionsquestions she asked God and waited for answers while acting in the name of Jesus.

She practiced until the day she died.  Her congregation held a small memorial meeting mostly in silence.  Someone wrote a book about her Christian faith and practice.






Copyright © 2014 by S.L.Chast




15 comments:

Mary said...

Really I think that Jesus / God would understand. I think it is natural to ask questions. And I think God/ Jesus would accept that as well. Some answers I do not think we will find until...well, let's just say until. But I think someday we will know all. But I don't believe it is EVER wrong to question one's beliefs.

Robert Bourne said...

a delicate balance of human Faith and questions...wonderful piece Susan...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A deep pondering, and a soulful write, Susan, with which I identify. Having been raised in a religion that felt too restrictive, I have had to seek out my own spiritual path. I wish for a strong faith community around me, such as you have, but where I live presently, I have not found it. Still searching.......but I resonate very much with what you have written here. Sometimes religious "language" makes me uncomfortable, given the early indoctrination, yet I have nothing but respect for peoples' beliefs and their right to do so. Thoughtful writing, my friend.

Gabriella said...

I like the seeker you have portrayed, Susan! I believe it is important to ask questions and seek answers, even though we will never have all the answers in our life time.

Bing Yap said...

This piece is imbued with mystery and deep insight. I am not a big fan of traditional, organized or structured religion but I do believe that one’s faith is a matter of personal relationship with his Creator. Brilliant piece you did here.

Kenia Cris said...

In the end she was reunited with God / Jesus according to good Christian faith, right? I wonder if that was the end of all the questioning.

Have a superb Sunday. <3

Brian Miller said...

i am not afraid of questions or doubts...of exploring...i do with just going through the motions...i would be more concerned if it did not bother her, you know...how else are we to truly understand our faithif we dont pursue those questions...if we dont it leaves our faith shallow...

alan1704 said...

This is quite powerful and for me has real meaning. I see these things perhaps slightly from a different perspective, to me it all comes to the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, so this really hits home. I like how the questions stay and are sometimes not answered, perhaps they were the wrong questions? Great piece of writing and really thought provoking.

kaykuala said...

Faith is something that one accepts after being blessed with information that one believes.The good thing is that one chooses and decides and are not influenced by others. It there fore can be any one of the religions as long as one is not forced! Nicely Susan!

Hank

Björn said...

I think that practice is fine.. but it should lead somewhere.. but just maybe the things she did for the congregation is where she met Jesus without knowing.. to me whatever we do that's good will be what matter... a god should not be visible to human beings...

humbird said...

I respect all her motivation and efforts....It seems she wanted the leading role more than faith and connection with J. ~ Agree with Hank..the faith should not be forced...Thoughtful writing.

Loredana Donovan said...

A deeply spiritual piece, Susan. Sometimes we have to "act as if" until we see positive changes resulting from new behavior ... and then we start believing for real. It's human nature to question ... but it keeps a dialogue going ... and we do get the answers eventually :)

awakenedwords said...

sometimes it does take practice to develop the faith...sometimes it still never comes...

Vandana Sharma said...

May god help us all

R.K. Garon said...

Without a "question" ..."answers" are non-existent.
Thought provoking, well put.
ZQ