A crisis of faith.
An emergency confirmation.
Plenty of faithful struggling.
Two weeks ago, I happily agreed to be my godson’s confirmation sponsor. Due to circumstances, this needed to occur immediately. While I remain honored that he asked me to stand with him and guide him in this sacrament, I worried. Right now, my heart is breaking over faith.
Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered death and was buried,
rose again from the dead,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting?
I paused. This question of the Church arouses my sadness in certain actions. Do I believe in this?
Words so simple: I do believe.
Uttered from my heart, I realized that I believe in the church that I see every day as I go to work; in each moment that my young adult group and I conduct a service event or share our faith journeys. I see it in my friend’s new role as father, as he invites me to pray with his baby before putting him to bed, using words said for thousands of years, and ones we grew up professing together. I see it in my Father’s patient position as a caregiver, each day living out the Gospel message. I see it in my friend’s role as a loving, supportive wife. I believe in the goodness of our church, of the opportunity it has to become even more beautiful, diverse, holy, welcoming and honoring of all of God’s people.
Today was about my wonderful godson. I put my questions aside, and asked him what his were. As we waited over an hour for the service to start, we found ourselves in a great discussion. He has questions and certainly feels that God has not answered all of his prayers. I told him as hard as it is, God’s timing is not always ours. Even more deeply, I found myself saying “Keep praying…I think it is a way to find answers to your questions”.
And so it is. On this day of my godson’s confirmation, I pray that he finds his faith, his peace, and his connection to the divine. I also ask for the grace and guidance to support him. I pray that he, and all others, know how dearly loved they are, no matter what this world may tell them. Furthermore, I pray that we find answers to our questions, hope in our struggles, and acceptance too.
As my godson showed me one of his gifts after the ceremony, I asked “Do you know what this stands for?” Glancing down at the cross with a dove in the center, “Yes, peace.” he said. “Oh and love. It stands for peace and love”.
For peace and for love: my faith stands.