“Faith and love are like the blind man’s (persons’) guides. They will lead you along a path unknown to you, to the place where God is hidden.” — St. John of the Cross
If I have learned anything from all my negative experiences in life is the reality of just how blind I can be to the dangers, pitfalls, obstacles, and evil awaiting me on this journey of life. I have learned the hard way of just how important it is to have guides we can trust to be leading us toward the good and our own best interests.
My faith has changed. My first vision of faith was not a true vision but one given me by fundamentalism. Fundamentalism in religion can seem to be a life jacket when a person believes they are drowning in a sea of unclear parameters and a false sense of needing certainty. However, this life jacket will become a straight jacket that will itself become an obstacle to discovering the true path for which we are created. Fundamentalism is in itself a form of blindness that is prejudiced toward building walls and limiting freedom. It is more of a psychological and social barrier than a religious path to truth.
My unbinding of the straight jacket of fundamentalism required me to accept my faith not as something to be certain of, but a relationship I could trust and find assurance. My faith now gives me freedom to question and explore, to discover and to discern. Faith now guides me to recognize my limitations as well as my opportunities. I now am more adept at hearing truth rather than needing to see and touch it. Because of these new perspectives and abilities I am able to truly believe the words, “We live by faith and not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7 CEB) Faith is now a prominent spiritual director in my life.
Perhaps the hardest guide for me to accept in my life is the guide of love. I did not love myself for much of my life. I was continually at war with my own self perception. I would do things to try and escape from the person I believed I was. This self loathing only lead me into the traps of the enemy of humankind and influenced the many bad choices that I made.
Even though I believed I was a Christian, I could not really fathom the idea that God really did love me. How could God be so blind. It was not God who was blind. It was me. It took a miracle, a miracle resulting from an extremely horrible and destructive choice to bring me to a point where I could begin to understand that even someone like me could be loveable. I had felt (and was) betrayed so many times by those who said they “loved” me that I was extremely resistant to love breaking through. But, the think about love is that it does not give up on a person. Love pursued me and overtook me. It introduced itself to me and promised not to force me, use me, or deceive me. It made it clear it would gain my trust at the pace I set. It provides me with assurance that I had been blindly seeking and never finding.
Yes, there are times when it is hard to trust faith and love. Sometimes the road we travel can become so terrifying that I try to let go of their hands. They never let go of mine. They stay with me till I am ready to again believe and trust them to lead me on the best path for my life and will help defend me against the evil I am sure to encounter. They will do this for you as well no matter what stage of life you are in. They are always there waiting to be asked.
You have this faith and love because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You previously heard about this hope through the true message, the good news, (Col. 1:5 CEB)