Saturday morning, Sean and Antique Daddy sat at the breakfast bar eating breakfast while I played the role of the short order cook.
On the bar was a slip of paper with Sean’s Bible memory for the month of August. It was James 2:17. With just a little prompting, he was able to recite the verse: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.”
The slap of high fives and cheers echoed throughout the House of Antique.
AD asked Sean if he understood what the verse meant.
“Sorta,” he said with some uncertainty, then “No. Not really.”
After a long pause he guessed, “If the body doesn’t have a spirit, then it’s dead,” he said with hunched shoulders and palms up. “And it can’t work? Right?”
“That part is right,” I confirmed.
“Do you know what faith is?” AD asked.
There was a long silence as he considered the question.
“Well faith is what you believe in,” he said slowly.
“That’s true,” I said. “Faith is a sort of believing, but faith is a special kind of believing.”
I picked up the salt shaker off the counter and showed it to him.
“You believe that this is salt, don’t you?” I asked.
“Well how do you know?”
“Well, I can see it,” he said.
“Well, maybe it’s not salt. Maybe it’s something else. How could you find out for sure that it’s salt?”
“I would shake some out and taste it.”
“Very good. And then you wouldn’t have to have faith. You’d would know for sure, wouldn’t you?”
“So then what is faith?” AD asked again.
Sean looked at AD. AD looked at me. I looked back at Sean.
After a long pause, he shook his head and said, “I’m stumped.”
We all three sighed.
More than one man has been stumped, and stumbled, trying to understand and define the essence of faith.
Faith is a mystery.
He who calls us into a relationship of faith is the very same who set time and eternity into the hearts of men in such a way that we cannot comprehend it. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
My prayer for Sean this Sunday morning is that the events of his life, both good and bad, will call him to enter into the mystery of faith, to take a running leap across the wide and deep chasm of human understanding towards eternity.
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“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1