Today I’m reflecting on the horrible tragedies that been inflicted on innocent people by those who claim to do so because of their faith or religious beliefs. Mass shootings. Café bombings. Train derailments. Hijacking and crashing of airplanes. These acts of terrorism are only about one thing: violence. They have absolutely nothing to do with faith. Faith in no way, shape or form caused these events to occur, but it is faith that will see us through them and where we will ultimately find peace.
During times of personal, community, or national grief, when we struggle to understand the why of a senseless or vicious attack, we need something to hold onto. We need to believe that, at the end of the day, something beautiful will emerge from the pain, that good will eventually defeat evil, and that love will ultimately triumph over hate. That’s where faith comes in.
Where reason fails to comfort and logic falls short, faith comes in and saves the day. Faith assures us that the sun will rise again tomorrow, and we will bask in the light once again. Faith picks us up from our crumpled heap of sorrow, kisses us on the forehead, and gently strokes our hair. Faith stands by our side while we scream and sob and cry out for revenge, then she simply takes us by the hand and leads us to a place where we can rest.
There may be times when we feel like we have lost faith, but she never completely leaves us, even in the darkest hours. Even when we are so numb we can barely move, or so angry we feel that at any second we might explode, or so grief-stricken that we fear our hearts may shatter into a million pieces, faith is there. In a quiet moment, she slides in next to us, embraces us, and warms us with her light.
Whether we attach it to a power greater than ourselves or simply to the assurance of a brighter day ahead, faith helps us resist the urge to close off and shut down. It is only when we allow faith full and unlimited access to our hearts that can she lift us from our ashes and carry us toward a better tomorrow.