Belief Undefined

Definition vague.
Full of empty, meaningless words.
I’m certain this word once had substance,
but I’m unsure of its current resting place.

I say that I Believe.
but..Do I?
How can I do something which I can not define?
After all, what does it mean,
this “believe”?

Just believe!  A popular slogan demands.
You got to have faith! Even the most ungodly suggests.
Believe Whom?
Have faith in what?
How carelessly we toss around
the very words that save our lives.

Have confidence in.

Do I trust You, God?
On rare occasions, perhaps.
Do I have confidence not only in Your ability,
But also in Your yes answer?
…and Your no answer?

There are plenty of days I don’t “feel” like I believe.
or Have faith.
Does belief have a feeling?

Faith without works is dead.
Does faith and belief prove itself in action?
Is it works to think faith can be proved at all?
James didn’t think so.

I move small mountains,
Is this proof that I have faith?
Or is this only evidence of His mercy?
Is it His roar coming from behind this lion cub that I am?
and I am foolish enough to think my ferocity has scared away the enemy.
I bring a cake to a neighbor
because I want her to know Jesus.
Do I know Him?
I make it my determined purpose.
Knowing Him, that is.

Whatever belief, or faith is
I hope that I have it.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for.
I hope for faith. It is the anchor of my soul.
Faith now has substance;
Substance in small mountains,
Moved by His roar, and my trust in Him
as I hide my tear wet face in His mane.
Substance in frosted, sprinkled cupcakes
given to freckled crinkled noses.
I believe.

“I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.” ~C.S. Lewis

Thanks to my new friend Rachel for reminding me of this wonderful quote!

and to Holly Wagner for the inspiration about lions!

39 thoughts on “Belief Undefined

  1. As Frank is so tired of hearing me quote, the movie “Contact” has some wonderful quotes. There is an exchange between Matthew McConaughey and Jodie Foster, while debating God’s existence. Matthew asks “Did you love your father?” Jodie exclaims “Of course I did!” “Prove it”, is Matthew’s response.
    Sometimes, we can’t prove our loves even to ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard to find that faith. But it’s those moments when, to use the image from that old poem “Footprints”, that we see only one set of footprints in the sand.
    And that is when our faith, when our love, when God, carries us over the rocks of our troubles, and sets us down in the cool smooth sand of everyday life.
    Besides, the roaring lion is easy to see, and be prepared for. It’s the quiet one that sneaks up from behind that gets the herd REALLY running! (Don’t ask me, I have no idea what the heck that means either. 😉 )
    Great work!

  2. Great quote by C.S. Lewis. Many of us Christians are afraid to admit that we have doubts, but God knows our hearts and it doesn’t bother him that we have doubts. Sometimes I get angry with Him because I think, if he were any kind of God, he wouldn’t make it so hard to believe in Him. He’s not afraid of my anger either. Even when I think I don’t believe in Him, I start yelling at Him. I know He’s laughing at me and saying, “Susan, if you don’t believe in me, who are you yelling at?” LOL! Loved your post.

  3. One of those truths of life…that we can’t ever really be sure; we just have to muddle along as best we can, questioning, questing, and hoping someday we’ll figure it all out.

    • Kathleen,
      I do believe we will figure out what is necessary for us to figure out, as BBD stated, when we seek with our whole heart, we will find. Other truths, we will never know, like why an armadillo is so ugly!!

  4. “Substance in frosted, sprinkled cupcakes given to freckled crinkled noses.” Delightfully worded. Madeliene L’Engle was very open about days when she wondered about what she really believed or if she believed at all. But I think that what you are searching for….is a precise definition of what we mean when we say in this 21st century that, “we believe”…is it the same meaning as the early Church Fathers had when writing the NT? “……for whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Pretty important to know what the Bible means by “believe”. Is it yet another word that has become standard Christian jargon, part of the grafitti written on the subway wall. You will find answers to your questions JourneyGirl because you seek Him with your whole heart.

    • I love how you’ve included everyone reading this poem in your comment. If you’re struggling believing in God, then this poem is for you. If you’re struggling with what it means to believe, this poem is for you. I do grow weary of Christian jargon. We say things and no longer know what they mean.

  5. I love your Narnia quote:) Belief, if it’s just a mind thing does nothing for you. Belief walked out, talked out, lived out – that’s when it becomes tangible, that’s when it comes alive and ministers. Beautiful poem!

  6. Thanks for stopping by…I love the c.s.lewis quote. Sometimes I think faith is seen in the rearview mirror…as we journey down this life…we look back and see…that was faith in action…wow.

  7. Oh, I’ve been chasing one of those butterflies around all summer. Just won’t stay put long enough in one place!

    I want to be moved by His whispers and His roars.

    And my favorite line? Substance in frosted, sprinkled cupcakes
    given to freckled crinkled noses.

    I believe.

  8. Woah, this post made me stop and think. I believe for sure, but do I trust? do I have confidence? Not always. This has my brain thinking, wanting more than just the vague BELIEF. Thank you

  9. i get it. in this culture full of neighbours who don’t need each other, government programs that make good works obsolete, and sick people who keep on dying, i get it. i wonder and keep the faith and pray for more. thanks.

  10. What a wonderful piece of work this is, my favourite of yours so far (and I like them all)! This is truly outstanding though, and I love the C.S. Lewis inclusion. Thank you for touching my heart by sharing this tonight.

  11. Simply outstanding. Beautiful words that follow a twisted road that captures the essence and the challenges of faith. Of course then I see that John is talking about me again 😉 … but he does have a way to weave lines from science fiction into our real life. Hope all is well with you. Keep smiling!

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