I’ve spent a lot of time reading blogs lately. Chalk it up to avoidance of job applications. I have found myself being deeply moved by several things that I’ve read. One quote in particular really captured me:
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference.” -Elie Wiesel
I’ve felt pretty indifferent when it comes to faith the past few months. Getting to the point of graduating from graduate school was so crazy, I felt like I just put all of my questions and issues on the back burner and left it there. After graduation there was moving. After moving there were the holidays at home with my family. After the holidays, I began job searching. And so on and so forth. It’s easy to find excuses not to deal with the hard stuff. It’s easier to be indifferent.
In my blog reading this past week, though, I have been deeply disturbed by some things I’ve read. Things about how churches treat broken people and how Christians like to see the world in black and white, which ends up hurting a lot of people who live in the gray. My reading has led to more questions, not answers. And that was the main problem before–not that I didn’t have questions, but rather that I wasn’t asking them. It’s hard to find answers if you refuse to ask questions. Now I’m asking questions. Deep, soul-searching, stomach churning questions. I don’t feel indifferent anymore.
I realized this week (with a lot of reflection spurred by the above quote) that this is the essence of faith. My nature proclivity to revert back to my childhood understanding of faith means I often believe that unless I am actively pursuing God and doing “well” when it comes to following a path of righteousness, then I’m not walking in faith. It’s incredibly discouraging. It steals my hope. Because those times seem to be few and far between and I’m left wondering what to do in the meantime.
But what if we take this quote and turn it back around? If the opposite of faith is not heresy, but indifference; then logically, the opposite of indifference is faith. Such a simple concept, but one that has breathed life into my soul. Perhaps this whole crazy journey I’ve been on these past few years has been teaching me about my limited understanding of faith. Frederick Buechner said the following:
“Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting. Faith is journeying through space and through time.”
Learning to live in this concept has been freedom to me this week. For me, faith has been in asking questions. Faith has been engaging in the hard stuff, instead of running away. Faith has been embracing the gray areas. Faith has been admitting that I know little…and that’s ok. Faith is admitting that I’m fallen.
So long, indifference.