To believe in God is to celebrate
the gift of life in the presence of death.
It is easy to celebrate life on the good days
when the sun is shining and laughter floats
through the air and children play and lovers love.
But life is more than sunshine.
There is also dusk and the starless night
when laughter dies and fear clings to the soul . . .
fear of losing someone dear.
That's when celebration becomes an act of faith.
Not a soft faith full of heavenly promises,
or a bromide faith which dulls the sharp throb of grief,
but an open faith . . . open to the dawn and to the dark.
A faith that reaches up to claim life's highest joys
and kneels down to taste the bitter wine of failure
and disappointment and sadness.
A faith that seeks every mood and in that exposure
grows more sensitive
feels more pain
knows more joy.
To believe in God is to celebrate life.
Not a piece of life but all of it . . .
the good and the bad, the happy and the sad.
Because God gave it all
and we live when we receive it all
and love it and use it and live it.
To believe in God is not to deny
the presence of ugliness
but to transform it into beauty;
not to deny the sounds of discord
but to blend them into harmony;
not to deny the confusion of chaos
but to create order.
To believe in God is to take anger
and make it into a sensitizing of the soul;
to take hatred
and transform it into a ministry of love.
To believe in God is to take the broken pieces of life
and fashion them into a cross.