Thursday, June 29, 2017
Life in the Fog
Wendell Berry brought Jayber Crow to life in his book back in the year 2000. Only in these more recent years of retirement have I found him. I have read the book not once, but several times. Back then I was too busy with things which Jayber Crow would have determined to be a waste of good time. My reading was more about "how to do" than how to live which Jayber Crow figured out more quickly and better than I did. I have offered numerous introductions to others since I met Jayber, but I am not sure how those relationships have gone.
One of my favorite underlinings from the book is a simple statement about faith. "But faith is not necessarily, or not soon, a resting place. Faith puts you out on a wide river in a little boat, as in the fog, in the dark." The River is a central part of the story Wendell Berry tells. Since Jayber spends his whole life in contact with the river, the line about faith are obviously words experienced in the heart. We too often think that our faith will land us on some destination shoreline when it is actually a word which speaks of the way we are journeying toward that shore.
We like to think of faith as a comforting thing. Yet, the truth is that those who really live by faith are those who have learned to live in the frightening world of uncertainty with a confidence that all is well. Being in a little boat on wide river is surely frightening. Throw in the fog and the dark and it is terrifying. Such is where God is calling us live. Faith is trusting that Someone can handle what we cannot handle. Faith is believing that He will get us through even though it seems impossible. Faith is not about staying in the present, but moving into the future which has no boundaries and unknown possibilities. Faith is believing that God is out there somewhere and knowing that no more is needed.