In my last post, I shared that I was celebrating being out of the hospital for one year as of August 17. Thanks to all of my readers for their kinds words, thoughts, and prayers. Since the first time I was hospitalized in 1998, I've been overwhelmed by love from friends, family, and strangers.
The times I was in the hospital, both Christian and non-Christian friends prayed, called, and visited me--some who didn't even know me.
I realize for some of my readers, Christianity carries a lot of baggage. I won't address that baggage in this post, but if you'll bear with me a moment, I'd like to share some of the joy I've found in my faith community.
Christians should be joyful and celebrating the love of God. The Creator blessed humanity with a perfect son, true God, and true human, to taste and defeat death. If that sounds confusing and superstitious, you're right. It is. And if I'm to be intellectually honest with myself, using ration, logic, and scientific thought to explain my Christian faith will always fall short.
I've spent years struggling off and on with how there could be a loving God when there is so much pain and suffering in the world, and I'm sure I'll struggle again. What I've found, however, is that disbelieving in God doesn't make pain and suffering go away. Instead, looking to Jesus' life and example on earth and praying that the Spirit of God be alive in me, I sometimes feel an inner strength from outside of myself.
More than that, I see that Spirit in others. I see people who live in impossibly difficult circumstances, and they throw up their hands and praise God.
So today, as I ran through a misty Minnesota morning, I praised God. I thanked Jesus for showing so much love to the world, and asked for strength to show that same kind of unconditional love to others: To pray for peace and happiness for those who seem most opposed to what I believe--murders, bigots, rapists--praying they receive love and turn their lives around.
For the skeptic, I'm doing nothing more than having an imaginary conversation in my head. It's entirely possible, but it doesn't change the things I've felt and the things I've seen. And though it's possible that my prayers aren't heard, they certainly change my heart.