My son lately has become more and more engaged in philosophical thought. I encourage him to spread his mind at the same time that he spreads his wings and becomes more independent. Life is meant to be lived but it is also meant to be considered. He has been doing just that and one of the recent challenges has been thoughts of faith and God and heaven and hell. Thoughts which have perplexed the human spirit, mind and soul for ages.
My son is a scientific thinker. He looks for evidence of what can and should exist. If there is a lack of evidence, his conclusion, based on science, is that it doesn’t exist. Again, that is logic but even logic has its limitations. So my challenge was simple, if you cannot prove that it exists, challenge yourself to prove that it doesn’t exist!
This was quite the concept. How can you prove that something doesn’t exist? Thinking back to the earliest minds of our time, they knew that it is impossible to prove that something does not exist. The next time someone tells you that unicorns are not real, ask them to prove it! They cannot!
But that is logical thinking and sometimes we must live our lives with compassion. So again, let’s look through those windows. Start by looking at the old woman who lives day by day with the pain of age. She looks out her kitchen window and seeks comfort in memories and in faith. She looks at the backyard that is now empty through the dirty curtains that sit over the kitchen sink.
She used to pull them back while she did the dishes and look out in the yard to the rickety and rusty metal swing set that their children played on lazily after dinner. The red brick patio that her husband had put in, a little at a time, day after day when he came home from work. He dreamt of being able to sit out there and watch the girls swing as he read the evening paper each night. Inside that window, she dreamed right alongside him, bringing him iced tea as he worked. She dreamed of watching all of them as they shared their blessings together.
The bricks are dirty and his chair has been empty for six years now. The swings simply sit, gathering rust with each rain storm as the girls have long since left to pursue their dreams and their families. They call and she smiles through the phone but they cannot see her tears as she talks while looking out that dirty back window, remembering when she felt whole.
She still sets an extra place at dinner each night. She still asks him about his day. She still says goodnight and I love you to the empty space in bed where he once would lean over, gently kiss her cheek each night and squeeze her hand. The only thing she has now is faith.
She has the belief that someday when she departs this earth she will spend her eternity back by his side. No more aches and pains. No more tears, only love and pure joy at being united in everlasting love as God had meant it to be. The smile that she smiles each night and again begins each morning with is because of that faith. It gives her the drive to wake up and continue her journey, knowing what lies ahead. Could I ever take that away from her and why would I?
I look over at my wife as she sleeps and those same thoughts race through my mind. What if we are parted someday? How will I last counting the seconds before I can kiss her cheek again, to squeeze her small hand and tell her that I love her? What will I do when I normally spend my evenings smiling at her as she plays with our children or watches television or plays a video game? I will have faith that someday God will let us be together again.
The real joy of living is not just based upon the joy of living today but the dreams of joy tomorrow. And rather than dwell upon the past and fear for the future, the greatest gift we can give someone is the faith to believe that their joy will continue after their time here is through.
Today look past those kitchen curtains and decide for yourself that you will have faith. That whoever it is that you wish to spend your eternity with will be there waiting and expecting you. Then smile because your window to the past becomes a shining window for the future.
Faith is not about the way we live, faith is all about the people we love…