I believe in God because I believe in love. . . . My faith in God begins with the simple openness to respond to others in love—in deed and in truth—and without the assurance that my love will bear any fruit. Love means risk and uncertainty. It makes me vulnerable to the tragic, to whatever may come, even to death. Love is an act of faith—the act of faith. Love may be returned with rejection or with mockery, with apathy or with scorn, made all the worse because when we love, we remove our armor. Only those who love can be tragically destroyed, but then, only those who love can joyously live. (Kyle Cupp, Living by Faith, Dwelling in Doubt, p. 29)
I think one problem with a faith that strives to be certain is that certainty sets up a rigidity of soul that gets in the way of fluid, breathing, changing presence and grace. When it’s time to be open to whatever gifts the day has for me, my certainty will shut the door as if to say, “We have all the information now—nothing else gets in!”
And nothing forces the issue of being open or closed more than a relationship with another living human being. You think you know this person but, no, not really, even if you’ve been with him for 20 years. You think you understand why this friend said what she said, but really, you have no idea what was happening with her at the time. In a relationship, there is very little certainty, only openness and commitment. Our author Kyle Cupp figured out that human relationship can help our approach to Divine relationship.
Questions, questions . . .
- What, in your relationships, must be certain, and in what areas of those relationships can you be more flexible?
- How do human relationships inform your relationship with God—and how do they not?
- What evidence have you seen that love is actually an act of faith?