Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Magic of Belief

I watch my daughter's face light up as she sees magic. Her kind of magic- a princess castle poised against a blue sky, a mermaid she loves come to abrupt life, singing a song she knows by heart. I watch her face as she sees these things, things to her that are beyond imagining, things to me that are no secret. I know the force behind the magic, the very real human effort to make the unreal, real.

But she believes. In princesses. In a giant mouse that sings and dances. In characters that make no sense to my adult mind.

And I think about this magic. This created joy, this manufactured feeling. How do I get her face to light up this way at the idea of God? At the idea of Jesus, who saves and loves and gives?

How do I manufacture faith or belief? How do I teach her that the real magic of this world lies in the hands of One who loves her more than words can express?

How do I show her that the beauty of a tree in fall flourish is just as magical as a princess come to life?

How do I explain that the love she shows her brother is the extension of the love God puts into her tiny perfect soul?

It is the biggest mission of my life. It is the hardest as well.

I think about how I came to faith, and I cannot pinpoint the moment it crossed from being an idea to being a reality. I cannot find that moment when God's hand became so real to me I could feel it guiding me. It just...was. And still is.

I live my spiritual life quietly, praying in silence. I fold my hands and sit but rarely, instead carrying on a constant dialogue with God in my mind. I speak to Him as I fold laundry, as I cook, as I play with the kids. It is as it has always been, and I know no other way.

So how will she know? I want her to know. I want her to feel the peace and the fierce joy that comes with knowing you are more than just you. That you are deeply and intimately connected to a world that lies like a vast underground, deep and hidden, but very real. I want her to be rooted firmly into faith that quiets all of her ragged thoughts, and soothes all of her fears.

It is magic, this knowledge. It is beyond anything I could ever imagine. It is deeper and stronger than anything I could speak of. I want to give it to her more than anything else.

I have to rely on her ability to see clearly into me. Her perceptiveness is acute- she feels everything as if it was happening to herself. She sees into me and into others with a compassion that is sewn into her very soul. It is a gift she has been given, this ability to feel.

This is how I will show her what faith is. In the only way I can- with a deep trust and knowledge that I am passing on something intrinsic to her life- the ability to reach beyond herself. To know she never walks alone. To know she is responsible to be who God created her to be, in word and deed and action.

I can only show her with my own life what God can do. That He can take the broken and mend it stronger than before. That He can turn the world, the seasons, and at the same time, be a Father to us. That He is all, and everything. And He loves her more than I ever could.