Faith of a Mustard Seed

I look at children and envy them. For they don’t know doubt, they have yet to experience having everything you believe over load with skepticism. To continuously have the right questions, but never the full answers. Having faith small enough to fit in the cracks of our grandparents wrinkles,  that faith is strong enough to move mountains. All the while having so little faith.

“Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

I sit on my bed scrolling through the endless news feed on Facebook. Watching the endless battle between hate and love. Others who are free from the bondage of doubt that clouds my mind. Wondering when, where, how and when I’ll be free from the encroaching darkness of doubt. Seeking your light, for you are the light of the world. Who ever follows you will not walk in darkness but have the light of life. HERE I AM LORD! I walk with you but you’re absent, I reach for your hand and I miss it. I grasp the air and feel nothing. I scream out in prayer and you don’t answer.

I am scared. I hurt. I sleep with no rest. Where are you?

My Child,

Like the tomb I walked from, your doubts are empty. My grace and love fills you. You know that I am with you. You’re questions are right. Consider the blind man who had faith before they could even see my face. You don’t have to have a blind faith, I didn’t call the perfect to my table, I called the imperfect. The broken and downtrodden. I gave them love without question and never have l left work undone. You are not finished, you are my child. You are the light of the world, placed upon a hill you cannot be hidden. I know your struggle and pains. For I doubted my own father on cross. Yet I knew his love for me. For you. Doubt not me or our faith, doubt your doubts. For I will lay you in green pastures. I will never leave you. You are not alone. I will never leave you, my child.

My faith has never been very large or strong. The best way I could describe it, is, it’s like a small candle with a single flame. It’s there, that’s about all there is to it.

I was born and raised in the Catholic Faith. Was taught to know the catholic teachings but they were never enforced onto me. My mother would take us to church every Sunday. Put us in Sunday school so we could receive the sacraments of the church. This lasted a few years. When my sister started to figure skate going to church came to an end. To be honest, I was glad it did.

As a child I hated going to church. I was in some ways forced to go. Didn’t have the choice. All I really remember from it was that there were a bunch of songs. An old guy, in robes, would get up read some stuff, talked for a while and sit down. Then we’d go up get the “wafer” and drink some wine, sing some more, and it’ll end. If I played my cards right, meaning I behaved, I could get donuts and juice afterwards.

As I grew older I continued to believe in God. Mostly because of the Boy Scouts. You’re supposed to believe in God or practice some type of faith in God. I still didn’t like the idea of church. Though it had gone from hate to a very strong dislike of it. Either way, I’d still choose to sleep in than go.

After the scouts my practice in faith didn’t improve or decline. Still believed, treated God like a distant relative. Only talked when it was necessary. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that my faith in God and the church changed.
A friend invited me to attend a Sunday mass with them. I went with no intent to really participate, at least fully, but enough to be respectful. Then they decided to take me every Sunday after. You could say I didn’t have a choice there either, my childhood all over again. Eventually another friend saw this and invited me to a conference and eventually a weekend retreat.

The conference didn’t have much of an impact on me. Surrounded by the religious faithful I was like a fish out of water. I was closed off and only focused on selfish wants. I knew only enough to just get by and knew just how to play off like I was really interested in things. After that came the retreat. That’s where it all changed.

It was a three day weekend. Away from the city and isolated. Still very much the fish out of water, but something had changed. I was more open to being more faithful. I had finally found a spot where I didn’t feel judged. I was welcomed as I was and I was loved as I was. I still had one question:

What is faith?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”
Hebrews 11:1

We all struggle with faith. Even the saints. St.Teresa of Calcutta is a prime example of struggling with faith. As most know she was a nun serving the poorest of the poor in India. Eventually she began to feel like the Lord had abandoned her and left her.

“Where is my faith? – even deep down, right in, there is nothing but emptiness & darkness. – My God – how painful is this unknown pain. It pains without ceasing. – I have no faith. – I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart – & make me suffer untold agony. So many unanswered questions live within me – I am afraid to uncover them – because of the blasphemy – If there be God, – please forgive me.” – St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

But she knew that she had a duty God and to the people she served. She persisted in her mission of love and service. St. Teresa was able to do this because she had faith, even though she struggled with it.

So can we.

As we know many other saints struggled with questions and doubts about faith. In an article from the Sisters of Saint Benedict website that talked about the doubts of St. Teresa, Sr. Mary Jean Feeney, OSB, said this…

“We need hope. Hope is the bridge between doubt and faith.”

Faith is being steadfast in moments of doubt. Faith is continuing to pray when prayer feels empty.
Faith is knowing that when it feels as though God has abandoned us that he has not and is always there.
Faith is turning to the cross at our weakest moments. When we’re are the most broken.
Faith is seeking God and his love, all the time.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13

Our hope to know our faith and to be strong in it brings us out of doubt and into love.

Positive Vibes & God Bless

Niall Covington

Born with a genetic disorder, Niall knows what it is like to be knocked down. He has been there several times and he has been able to get back up because of faith and a small number of friends. Seeing others getting knocked down, Niall offers a hand whether he has just fallen or is on the way back up himself. Volunteering as a summer camp counselor for children, teens, and young adults with the same disorder, Niall hopes to inspire them to overcome life's road blocks. For Niall, writing for Project Wednesday is an opportunity to reach more people, and to help more.

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