Updated: Jun 4, 2019
I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God even when God is silent.
(Words scratched on the walls of a cellar in Cologne, Germany by a Jew hiding from Nazi persecution.)
We rarely think about whether or not we “believe in” the sun. If it’s daytime, and there is light outside, we know that the sun is there. She may be hiding behind clouds, but we know she’s there. Believing in love sometimes takes a bit more effort. I think we have to feel unconditional love at least once in our lives to know that it exists. There are plenty of children in this world who have never felt love like that, and those little ones often grow into adults who continue to wonder if such a thing is real.
Perhaps that’s why so many people struggle to believe in God. Like love, God needs to be experienced to be believed. God does not literally speak to us from the heavens. It might be easier to believe in God if that were the case. (It also might be scary as heck!) But God can speak to us through other human beings. If you’ve never experienced a “God moment” like that I imagine it would be hard to believe that God exists.
How you define a God moment is up for debate, but I would say that any time someone shows mercy; anytime someone cares for another human being; anytime compassion is expressed - that’s when a God moment happens. Perhaps that’s why the author of the words above, though persecuted, could yet believe in God. Perhaps he or she was convinced that God would once again speak through others; speak to condemn evil acts, speak to challenge injustice, and speak to protect the vulnerable.
My goal is to intentionally speak and act in ways that allow God moments to happen - to be someone who God can speak through. I certainly won’t get it right every time, but the nice thing about being a part of a faith community is having the support one needs to even give it a try. And hopefully the collective attempts of the Church Universal, to speak and act as imitators of Christ, will give the world cause to believe that God can live and work through God’s people even today.
Your Pastor -
The Rev. Patty Fox