acts of faith

It was right there, on my facebook feed. Someone had put the words together, and it rang loudly, brashly true.

“Leaving our homes has become an act of faith.”

Add to that, more specifically, putting our children on a school bus, letting them open that car door and bound into school. An act of faith. No guarantees. But then I thought, has it ever not been an act of faith?

There’s a worriless innocence in children. They haven’t experienced the avalanche of tragedies that is everyday life in America. They are, for the most part, shielded from the bigger agonies of life in our culture. They might have to handle the death of a beloved dog, a lost or broken toy, deal with disappointments, but what happened in Connecticut is something –well, it doesn’t even register on the list of possibilities for most six year olds, and if it ever did, it would be in the realm of nightmare and the not-true. People simply don’t enter elementary schools and gun down defenseless children barely able to write their own names. It just doesn’t happen.

But then, it does. And what do you do, then?

My oldest, my daughter, was a year and a half old when the September 11 attacks happened. She was young enough that she really didn’t ask questions. She didn’t register the pictures on the TV with anything relevant to her world. I didn’t have to shield her so much, because it was a thing so big that, although it does affect her world now, it didn’t then. She was innocent, and even pictures of a world coming apart in New York City couldn’t shake that.

I’m sitting this morning in an empty house. I performed that act of faith this morning, by putting my own little ones on the school bus. But unlike a lot of other mothers and fathers, perhaps, I’m keenly aware that every day –EVERY day, it’s been an act of faith. I’m a worrier. I have trouble finding faith most days, a place of belief that the images of things that play through my mind, worst-case scenarios (my husband has accused me of ghostwriting that series of books, by the way) –a place of belief that those things won’t happen as I see them in my mind’s eye. But where I haven’t gotten quite yet –that place that trusts to the point that knows that even IF those things, or worse than I could imagine, could happen, this would still be True.

Romans 8:28 -All things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

So, today, and every day, I make a choice. A choice not just to believe, but to walk in the belief that He writes our stories for good, and not evil. On mornings like this, in the wake of this indescribable horror that happened to too many little children, too many families, it comes to light that living every day involves an infinite amount of acts of faith.

There’s a difference between the faith those little ones had that morning, as they found the coathook with their name printed above it and hung their coats and backpacks up, and took their seat and rummaged through their desk for a pencil; and the faith we as mothers and fathers and grownups have, waking up this morning, getting our little ones dressed and fed and hugged as they leave our homes or our vans for the day. We know. We know so much more about the world we’re releasing them to. And it’s little wonder that on mornings like this one, we take a little longer to let go of that hug, to open the car door and watch them walk into school. The faith of children is one of innocence. Our faith has history and stories. We can tell you how God has carried us through the many tragedies of our lives, and I have little doubt that as the days go by, there will be stories of His faithfulness, even in the face of this, because at the end of the day, we know

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Hope boldly.


One thought on “acts of faith

  1. I find comfort and wisdom in your words Shelbi. Thank you! Having lived 6 decades+, I can see in retrospect a progressive degradation of society. Putting you on the school bus seemed to require less faith than it did this morning. We can indeed hope boldly, because our hope is not in fixing society to make it safer. Our safety lies with the Person who watches over society. Safety is not the absence of danger. I AM is our safety in the midst of danger. May we focus on Him today with a renewed faith.

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