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  • A Special Kind Of Believing

    August 9, 2009

    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.

    * * * * *

    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1


    1. Shelly W. says:

      This is so beautiful. You are doing an amazing job with that very lucky little boy. Thanks for sharing it with us.

      August 9th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    2. Ann says:

      I will pray that prayer for your Sean and for my daughter as well this morning. It is a big and beautiful prayer, one that our hopes can rest in.
      A blessed Sunday morning to you, AM.

      August 9th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    3. Linda says:

      Oh that precious boy. Isn’t it amazing that we can sometimes stumble over the same mysteries even after we thought it was all settled. I pray for him, and for my grandchildren, a lifetime of child-like faith.

      August 9th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    4. Happy Geek says:

      I’ve been thinking on Faith a lot this week. Apparently this is a consequence of reading several books about people who lost theirs.
      Thanks for the reminder that I cannot reason my way through Faith.

      August 9th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    5. quinn cummings says:

      That’s about the most graceful bit of blogging I’ve seen in recent memory. Longer than recent memory, as I’m a little vague these days.

      August 9th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    6. Shirley Cohen says:

      Faith is growing up knowing your mom is praying for you all of the time. My son just took the 3 day California Bar. I offered to pray with him before he left and he took me up on it. The second day of his test was multiple choice. I prayed that the Lord would highlight the key word that made the statement stand out as true or false. He called at the end of the day and said, “I have to know what you prayed for today.” I told him specifically for the key word to stand out. He said “I had 80 multiple choice and I flew through them finishing so quickly because they seemed so obvious I figured I must have read them wrong, but I didn’t.” Wow, that was a boost to my faith too! God is always reaching out in love and reminding the wayward to ‘keep the faith’.

      August 9th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    7. Rebecca says:

      Yes, faith is often explained as simply believing without proof. Without knowing for sure. Maybe it’s more accurate to say believing something we can’t see or touch.

      Because when I am closest to God, during prayer or giving my most heartfelt thanks, I often feel Him respond. The peace and joy of His love fills me from within, almost stealing my breath. And it magnifies, even more, my love for Him. I think often, and sometimes speak, of my faith. But, truly, I’ve felt the proof of his existence. I don’t just believe, I *know*. And, of course, it isn’t hard to find His hand at work around us if we just look. 🙂

      August 9th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    8. Meg @ Spicy Magnolia says:

      I will join you in prayer to pray this for Sean. And my little boy as well.

      August 9th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    9. mannequin says:

      Faith is sort of like something you know you’ve got but you can’t find it unless you really need it.

      August 9th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    10. Aunt Murry says:

      This is my favorite definition of faith:

      Faith means going when you don’t know where, believing when you don’t see or know how, and obeying when you don’t know why.

      August 9th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    11. Angela Nazworth says:

      Oh how I have missed coming here during moving mayhem. This was beautiful. Faith is a mysterious, special type of believing and one not tangibly defined, yet still known.

      August 9th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    12. RefreshMom says:


      August 10th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    13. Stacey says:

      I love Hebrews 11:1, I like the version that says,”Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen” ~ Love this!

      August 10th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    14. LarryWho says:

      This is one of my favorites of all time.

      August 11th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    15. Amy says:

      One of your best…thank you.

      August 12th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

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