Losing the Habit of Faith

It has been six weeks since we moved into our new house. So far, we’ve lost a tie rack, a Fisher Price barn, a navy blue quilted jacket, and our silver. (I can now amend this post to say I discovered the silver at the bottom of a large overlooked box in the basement, interspersed among some stray legos and the aforementioned barn, which proceeded to let out a plaintive and persistent moo until I turned it off entirely. I also discovered a lamp, a trash can, a small wagon, and some Tupperware. You know you’re a mother of small children when the silver and the legos get lost together.) I also lost Lent when we moved. It hadn’t been a particularly observant Lenten season for me anyway, but when we moved any semblance of spiritual discipline disappeared. The prayer book I had been picking up morning and night remained misplaced for weeks (I unearthed it eventually, but Lent was over by that point). The sticker chart for the kids with the story of Easter is still missing.

On Easter Sunday I sat in church, struck by how distracted I had been for the better part of the Lenten season, how I had almost forgotten what it was we came to celebrate. Jesus’ resurrection, yes, but also the promise, the hope, the anticipation of goodness and beauty and justice and truth, and God’s good work breaking into our broken world. As I gazed at the white cloth draped over the cross and took in the sight of lilies in full bloom and sang “Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!” (and comforted Marilee, who was crying in the nursery, and asked William to sit up in the pew to finish his coloring and whispered to Penny that she couldn’t read the Bible out loud while the preacher was praying…), I was also struck by the fact that my faithlessness changed nothing.

It almost surprised me to realize that the tomb was empty regardless of my acknowledgment of that new and world-changing reality. It felt almost like an affront to my sense of significance to realize that I was still invited—as distracted and self-consumed as I had been—I was still invited to the celebration and into the hope and the promise and the goodness and the grace.

I lost the habit of faith this year. And yet I gained a greater faith in the grace, the infinite and unrelenting grace, of God.

About Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes and speaks about family, faith, disability, and culture. A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), and Why I Am Both Spiritual and Religious (Patheos Press).

Comments

  1. Tim says:

    We lose the invitation to the party, but God sends the Spirit out to bring us in anyway. (Matthew 22:8-10.) Thanks for the reminder, AJ.

  2. Tress says:

    As a “to-do list” junkie, many times my busyness for the purpose of ministry leaves me self-absorbed instead of absorbed in Jesus. I give myself a good reprimand and resign to not let that happen again. And yet… again I find myself there. And again I remind myself that Jesus embraces me back in each time, understanding my humanity. Your beautiful words that “I am still invited” struck my heart so sweetly. God and I will be discussing those words tonight as I face Him with this struggle… yet again. Thank you.