Sunday, April 11, 2010

Two Lovely Thoughts on Faith

This was the first Sunday after Easter, so the wonderful minister at my church preached about "Doubting" Thomas today; and he said a lovely thing and we sang a lovely hymn that each really resonated with both the religious and nonreligious parts of me. Because of course I thought also about keeping faith with one's literary work here, "waiting for the morning light" of inspiration, trusting you'll find the way through a difficult revision, and "being ready still to give" when that way is revealed. And doubt about a project is normal; it's only those other things that will kill it. In that spirit:

"The opposite of faith isn't doubt. The opposite of faith is fear, cynicism, and despair." -- Rev. Herb Miller

Faith is patience in the night,
waiting for the morning light,
never giving up the fight.
Spirit God, give us faith.

Faith is laughter in our pain,
joy in pleasures that remain,
trust in one we can't explain.
Spirit God, give us faith.

Faith is steadfast will to live,
standing firm and positive,
being ready still to give.
Spirit God, give us faith.

Faith is courage under stress,
confidence in hopelessness,
greatest gift we can possess.
Spirit God, give us faith.
-- Lyrics by Mary Nelson Keithahn


  1. Great post Cheryl. I absolutely agree that the opposite of faith is not doubt. You don't really have doubts about something you don't believe just don't believe it. That's actually a great quote. Thanks for sharing.

    As far as writing goes, now that I'm finally ready to submit my first novel, I'm definitely experiencing the doubts. Have I just been wasting my time??? Then I realize that even if I don't get published, it will have all been worthwhile...

  2. It's funny that no matter what country you're in, no matter the lanuage, we're all hearing the same gospel. I was in church yesterday and I live in france. The song we sang wasn't nearly as beautiful as all that. 'Alléluia. Alléluia. Thomas a vu le Seigneur: il a cru. Heureux celui qui croit sans avoir vu! Alléluia.
    Translation- Thomas saw the Lord: He believed. Happy are those that believe without having seen.

  3. This was exactly what I needed to read at this moment in time. I'm printing it out for the future days when I need to remind myself to never give up the fight--writing life and otherwise. Thank you!

  4. My favorite on doubt and faith: Alfred Lord Tennyson, "There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds."

  5. I was reminded of a quote by Rushdie, saying exactly the opposite: " Question: What is the opposite of faith?

    Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself a kind of belief.


    --The Satanic Verses

    I just put it here because I found the clash interesting.

  6. That was beautiful, Cheryl, and just what I needed to hear! God bless!

  7. Patricia NesbittApril 13, 2010 12:56 PM

    Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing this lovely poem/hymn. Being a member of the Baptist denomination, I did not know it. I plan to share it with many friends struggling with some of the same issues of faith. It lifted my day.

  8. Your use of "Faith Is Patience in the Night" on April 11 touched the hearts of our family members, as this was the 8th anniversary of the death of my son-in-law, Daryl Umenthum. Composer John Horman and I were inspired to write this hymn by the way Daryl dealt with four years of peritoneal dialysis after he lost the use of his kidneys due to diabetes, a successful kidney-pancreas transplant and two years of good health, and then death from a short-lived bout with cancer related to the transplant. Through all this, God gave him the faith we pray for in the hymn. Daryl took the hymn with him during his many hospitalizations. He would be glad that it has had meaning for you and some of your readers, as we are.

  9. This was exactly what I needed to read at this moment in time
    free classified india

  10. Hi, Cheryl :)

    Quite a few times over the few years since I discovered your blog, I've wanted to respond, but didn't. Only a few days ago I joined Twitter, and you were listed under "books", so I'm following you on there.

    Not being familiar with Twitter just yet, I didn't realize you were asking for a specific person's thoughts on Adam Gopnik's article, but I felt compelled to answer, not knowing how. I hit "reply", but I'm thinking it only shows on my own home page, not yours, so you don't receive my comments. I guess you would have to be following me @SimmerArtist ?

    I wanted to be able to communicate my thoughts to you, so figured I could through your blog, which is why this is posted here, under "Religion".

    Honestly, when it comes to the Bible, I could talk for hours and could certainly go on and on in here, but for now, I thought I'd just repost the comments I tried to put on Twitter:

    Tweet: "Cheryl, I have much to say, but Twitter is too confining. First-Adam critiques the content of the Bible as fiction unrevised."

    The Bible, in my opinion for sure, is not a work of fiction. Could it use editing? Hell yeah! Especially most of the Old Testament! It could've been a much shorter and more comprehensive read! lol

    Tweet: "Also, the writers of the gospels are witnesses of an event, each separately recalling details that stood out to each individual."

    Just like witnesses at the scene of an crime (accident/special event/whatever...): one person might recall that the assailant wore a blue shirt, another might remember he had blond hair, and another that he was tall. The accounts are all accurate, not contradictory of each other, but simply make for a clearer picture of the assailant. So is true with the Gospels.

    Anyway, I hope you read this at some point :)

  11. I can't believe how much of this I just wasn't aware of. Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I'm truly grateful and really impressed.