Of Wind and Faith
Special Guest Blogger, member of our congregation and author on grief and loss, Andrea Corrie, shares her thoughts on wind and faith.
As it is written in Hebrews 11: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
However strong our faith, we may have moments when we deny the reality of that which we cannot see. But, do we deny the wind that blows in the trees? Do we deny the sound of a distant wave on the ocean, heard long before we see it? Do we deny our own thoughts, or our intuition?
If you are outside on a windy day, you have a good allegory for faith:
You can feel the wind but you cannot see or grasp it.
You cannot tell where it comes from, or where it is going.
You can hear it softly rustling in the trees, or loudly gusting.
You can be stung by its cold bite, or cooled by its gentle caress.
You can smell it in a drift of autumn wood smoke, or summer flowers.
You can resist it or accept it, but you cannot change it.
You need to believe in it because its evidence is irrefutable.
The wind also behaves like the passage of grief – and how it is in the beginning, when you feel as though you spin helplessly in the vortex of a tornado, tumbled in a chaotic maelstrom of shock and loss. You are buffeted this way and that, tossed heedlessly by this monstrous, unfamiliar blast. And then… gradually, the storm begins to lose power. The strength of it recedes. Its violence becomes spent through hours, days, weeks of working through your tears and sorrow, until the havoc of storm-force drops back to an acceptable level that your poor bruised heart, mind and soul can accommodate.
You reach a point where the howling tempest of the early days can be consigned to memory. You know that your face has lost the windswept, bewildered look of early loss and that you have come through the ferocity of the storm. Where before all you could see was cloud and darkness, now you can appreciate the sunshine and rainbows again.
These experiences with the natural world are akin to faith.
When you are locked into the despair of grief, you may cry out to God and you do not know where His help is coming from, but you have faith that it will come and He will help you.
Faith is trusting what you cannot see.
Faith is like taking a walk in the dark and believing you will not trip over unseen obstacles.
Faith is trusting in your own beliefs without constantly seeking logical evidence.
The wind and faith share the intangibility of a concept that has no beginning and no end. How often do you do something that you describe as a leap of faith when you step forward into the unfamiliar, safe in the knowledge that you will be supported and encouraged? Sometimes you underestimate just how much your faith can uplift, nourish and sustain you.
It is not really blind faith at all!
I wrote the foregoing about wind and faith some time before I encountered these words from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 6-8:
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
I was amazed at how closely my thoughts mirrored the words of Jesus as written by John, especially as I had not read them before. I have often thought that when I am out walking, with none of the usual everyday distractions, my spiritual connection deepens. Faith offers endless opportunity to explore through learning, soul exploration, prayer and the willingness of others to impart their knowledge of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Whatever your path, consider this:
Are you a reed to be blown this way and that, or are you an oak tree standing steadfast with your roots reaching down deep below the earth, providing you with the stability to stand equably, regardless of what assails you?
I think I used to be a reed. But with God's help I am growing closer to becoming an oak.
Read more from Andrea via her blog: https://andreacorriesblog.wordpress.com
Buy Andrea's latest book on Amazon here.
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