“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God
Many atheists and nonbelievers sneer at Christians as having blind faith. My faith, however, is anything but blind.
When I was going to college and recovering from my mental illness I worked with a carpenter named Frank. Frank was a good friend of mine as was his daughter. I was part of the family so to speak. He was a World War 2 veteran and was full of comical stories. I was a terrible carpenter and at most Frank gave me twenty dollars for the day, even when I got better. Frank also made me breakfast, bought me lunch and made me dinner, so he didn’t take advantage of me by any means.
Frank was an expert carpenter. He used to fly down to Texas and build houses. He even trained in high school to become a carpenter. The problem was is that I had no faith in Frank’s ability, at least initially. We would get on a job, like replacing a door and Frank would get to work tearing everything down. To be honest he made the house look like a total wreck. I would begin to look around trying to find how to make some speedy escape. But you know what, time after time after time Frank came through. He would not only repair the damages but he would expertly make the replacements. So eventually when Frank began to tear things apart I wouldn’t worry.
This same thing works with those who walk with God. My faith is not blind but rather it is built on listening to the Word of God, or the Bible, and applying it to my life, successfully.
I began life as a Roman Catholic. I found little love in that group. I remember our confirmation when we were in the ‘church’ building for confirmation practice. We had to sing and I was a terrible singer so my friends playfully ran away. But God forbid you express joy in church or have a little fun. We were chastised by the nun to behave. I recall years later I ran into a friend of mine who went through similar experiences. I shared with him that I was no longer a Catholic but a Christian. His reply was very striking, “I know that the Catholic faith ain’t right.”
When I was about nineteen I was lost seeking guidance. My life had improved but still, I found myself empty and aching. I went to a library and took out a book on some eastern religion. I read how the animals talked to the main individual and I dismissed it as fancy. Next, I picked up and Bible and I started reading the New Testament at Mathew. I found myself amazed at what I was reading. I eventually became a Christian.
Now here is the whole focus of the matter. The Bible makes certain promises and guarantees. It tells you straight out that both good things and bad things will come from practicing the Christian faith. One thing the Bible says is that you will reap what you sow. This simple tenet can be verified. Go around cursing at everybody you see and note their reaction. Next go around smiling and saying hello to everybody. If you do this you will find that you will indeed reap what you sow.
Now that’s a very simplistic matter so let’s move on to some meatier commands like “Loving one’s enemy.” Now that is a hard thing for many people to grasp. It seems illogical to be meek and ‘turn the other cheek’. After all you will become a door mat and people will take advantage of you. Well I can testify to you from personal experience that that is not necessarily the case. When you show an enemy genuine love for hatred good things happen. Many people who I have started off in a bad way have eventually become friends. It wasn’t easy but it happened. If I repaid hatred with hatred I guarentee you this wouldn’t have happened.
There is a whole psychology of loving one’s enemy. You emasculate the foe, taking away his power. You make the enemy question his deeds. You make him feel bad about himself. I could go on and on. Bottom line is “Loving One’s Enemy” helps to bring about a world of love.
So here’s the thing I have been a Christian over thirty years now. I have never been hungry or naked, two things that God has promised that will never happen to the faithful. So I am in a tough situation, where my wife is very sick and I cannot work to take care of her. Will God keep his promise? Well He’s never let me down before. I can see, through spiritual eyes, how all of my suffering, painful and terrible as it was, has made me into a much better person. So, even though I don’t know how God will work things out I have hope. This hope in itself is a powerful positive that keeps me from getting depressed and allows me to work hard at that task of providing for my family.
I invite you to celebrate my first poetry book I ever got published. It is called “Murmurings Of A Mad Man.” I recently self-published the work with a new cover and a lower price. “Murmurings of a Mad Man” talks about life, in particular the time when I was in Greystone State Psychiatric Hospital. The book is written with rhythm and rhyme. It is a book of hope and faith. https://www.amazon.com/Murmurings-Mad-Man-John-Kaniecki/dp/1721179755/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Photos by dollen,