My son, Kyle, was born with a bump on his head and it terrified me. As a first time mom I was certain he would become gravely ill and I would not be able to hang on to him. Perhaps it was the postpartum imbalance of hormones but I found myself crying in the shower. Then and there I surrendered. I conceded I could not do this parenting thing all by myself. As a new mom there were so many things out of my control. How could I keep this tiny person safe? I asked God to help me. It was the most direct communication I ever had with a higher power. The bump went away just like the doctor said it would, but it was a new beginning in my walk with God.
I have not been the most observant person. Walk with God, I’ve told my children. That’s all that matters. But it does create a sense of “religious homelessness.” Suzanne, who is Christian, used that phrase in the book “The Faith Club” to describe the difficulties faced by Ranya who is finding her way as a Muslim in America. Her family was chased out of Palestine and she was unable to find a mosque that felt like a fit for her family. I too, have felt rudderless along the way. Organized religion has seemed rigid to me. I love the pomp and tradition, the music and the fellowship, but I never really feel at home in any one house of worship. I can be as inspired in a church as in a temple. So I’ve chosen a more spiritual journey. I’m a Jew but I find meaning in all the faiths of the world. At their heart aren’t they all about goodness?
As a high school student at St. Andrew’s Priory in Honolulu I drove Father Blackmon crazy with all my questions. Why does God let bad things happen to good people? A virgin birth? Are you kidding? He finally told me that some things you just need to believe. But no one faith seems to have all the answers. It was impossible for me to understand why my friends Orin and Bekki lost their seven year old son, Brian. Or why the young twenty something rabbi could not offer me comfort when I lost a pregnancy and fell apart in his office. Or what it meant when I saw my deceased father in my room with his arm stretched out to me shortly after his death. In the book “The Faith Club” Ranya talks about how you just say a prayer and you can become a Muslim and chart your own course with God. I like that idea. We can shape our relationship with God. We can see God in the beauty of the universe. In the unconditional love of a mother, a child, a dog. Or even in a bump on the head.
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One thought on “The Faith Club Part 2”
This post really resonated with me.
I too feel non-religious, but very spiritual. When spirit moves me, I attend whatever service happens to be handy. For about a year I went to a Baptist church in Dubai. Without fail, I felt the weekly “message” spoke directly to me, despite the fact that I didn’t share many of the beliefs espoused by the congregation.
At the moment, my belief doesn’t include one god. I believe more in the collective energy of the universe, in spirit and in angels of some kind…
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts…