I You ask, does faith come hard or easy?
I’d laugh but you’re serious.
All I can say is no one I know has had the baptism of desire to skip right on ahead.
But I can pinpoint some (or much) horrible humanness in myself—
What is that? – it’s that span between the head and heart,
and it’s gaping.
You see, our conversions are continuous:
yet somehow they slip in–
perhaps because the days are an ever-leaking cup
always empty, never filling up.
Or, then again,
there will be a moment when you awake to your own strangeness.
Oh, and I’m not even touching on the suffering—
which meets you but in undreaded forms and in the most unappointed times.
(when you can finally exhale
it’ll hit you–
in hardship mostly, that’s when purpose sprouts).
But don’t let me discourage you-
despite the fits and starts,
faith’s a great and graspable Gift.
Just as no one can unravel the mystery of beauty
it’s the same with
the beauty of the Mystery.
II What can you do? We can do this:
we can gather it up,
the cup can be filled, the top can be reached.
It goes this way: Let’s all come,
let’s sit around the table, touching,
let us chew and swallow
our bread of faith in one room
from one table
in one place
One in our taking it in, we are be bound as one.
The oneness making faith easier & so
making hardships easier.
III Yes, at this time, and in this place, we’ll eat with
our friends & family who
ate with their friends & family
and their friends & family,
linking time and space & all the way back to
a hard table & a hard floor
where a handful of hard men were eating with the Lord
when He faced The Hard Time,
and whose faith they borrowed—
a kind of plagiarism.
but which, somehow in the end,
all sorts, varieties, and degrees of separateness
of this, our alien identity, with the One.
And through some kind of marvel somehow, He has made just this
primary of allegiances of all.
And yes, for each of us faith is different–
God’s not interested in mass production.
Yet, our faith assurances are ever the same—
for no convert is
ever the Original.