Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

I am one year in to being a confirmed member of the Body of Christ and it has been a wild and wonderful ride.

Pentecost is my anniversary. And while my conditional baptism and confirmation weren't quite as life-upside-down-ish as my original Big Dunk, it has been a year of feeling more and more knitted into the fabric of our Lord's cloak.

My Catholic friends and relatives keep telling me that 'yeah, that's great, but you need to come all the way home.' (Direct quote from my brother in law who was visiting this weekend.)

I have come to understand that my faith, to the rest of the world, is never going to be 'right'. For my atheist family, it is too much. For my Catholic relatives, it is not enough. For my liberal friends I am too traditional, for my conservative brothers and sisters, I am way too liberal. And my Pentecostal friends are pretty sure that my interest in things liturgical must be a delusion, or worse.

But this morning, when, in my pajamas, I went over to the fence to talk to my neighbor whose mom just had surgery for pancreatic cancer... my faith was just exactly right. I'll pray for her, I said. And you.

'She is going to be a testimony,' he said. 'We all believe she can beat this.'

And suddenly, I too, believed that she could beat it. Even though I know it is the worst cancer there is. Even though my brother in law and grandfather both died of it. The strength of his conviction was so powerful I suddenly believed that Jesus could and would kick some cancer ass for this woman.

Today, my faith is exactly the right size.


Beloved Jesus,

Heal your servant, Edna. Give her strength and courage. Be with her family as they support her through this. Heal your servant, Lord, that she may continue to do your good works.

Amen.

9 comments:

Antony said...

It sure is the right size, Rachel. I appreciate the unique being God has made you, and the unique path God has brought you on. Blessings,

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Thank you, Antony.

It is all about trust, really, isn't it? Trusting God. Trusting his will for us. Trusting that in him, we can be fearless.

Widening Circles said...

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Anonymous said...

Rachel,
Happy birthday! I joined you in spirit on Sunday as I celebrated 1 year in my new church home. I am surprised by just how much of a spiritual home it has become for me - it is definitely a sweet spot in life for me.

Can I submit a prayer request?! My first sermon at seminary is Friday morning, gulp. I could use prayers it teaches me what I need to know, but doesn't sting too badly. :^)

Peace,
Amy

Nancy said...

I am happy for you Rachel! I can relate to your statement,"I have come to understand that my faith, to the rest of the world, is never going to be 'right'." Of my friends whom I knew from churches I'd been in previous to where I am now, including my husband, I don't know if anyone understands why the faith I now have fits me so much better. And it not only fits, but I plenty of room to grow in whatever direction God takes me.
I appreciate YOUR faith Rachel!

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Amy:

I will certainly keep you in my prayers this week, and especially on Friday. I pray that your heart is open to God's whisper...

Nancy: Plenty of room to grow, indeed. My dad and I have been discussing how freeing it is to finally give up the notion of excellence. We have agreed that embracing mediocrity has been a powerful thing in our lives. :)

In my life, I have come to believe that I can't possibly excel at being a Christian... I can only try my best. It gives me endless room for growth and learning and I am deeply grateful for that.

Mary Beth said...

Happy Birthday, Dear Rachel! Woot!

What's right keeps changing little by little...but Jesus stays the same. You will never please anyone by following their path...just your own.

you know this.

Mother Laura said...

Congratulations!

Lorna (see through faith) said...

bite sized faith is enough :) I love that too ...