How often have I lain in bed with a movie playing in my mind? The film repeats a litany of my poor choices, mistakes, things I should have done and said differently.
These stories go back to my early years, and then slowly, painfully move forward. I see every error in miserable detail. With each scenario, I replay it with different choices. I wisely keep silent instead of speaking out when silence was the better choice, especially regarding what I perceived were personal injustices. Other times I speak the words of compassion to lessen another’s pain, instead of withholding them.
How could I not see, not understand? I was too wound up in my own personal crises, tragedies, and pain, to see the needs of others.
This morning’s Gospel reading was from Luke 7: 36 – 8:3, the story of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. I’ve read the story numerous times, but one verse changed my life. It offered the key to stopping the movie, ending its constant replaying, as long as I remember Jesus’ words.
“And he said to the woman: Thy faith has made thee safe, go in peace.” Luke 7: 50.
God once told me in a vision that my faith would keep the fires of sorrow from burning me. Keep me safe from the flames.
And now, he tells me my faith will keep me safe from my sins, will give me peace.
Peace from the litany of sins the devil replays in my mind to keep me weak, off balanced, afraid.
But God has freed me through my faith.
Faith will also give me peace amid the turmoil of our world, the ongoing atrocities, and terrors. Through faith, I can put those problems in God’s hands, and leave them there. It will protect me, save me, even from myself.
My faith will lift me up like eagle’s wings. It will bear me up, raise me up, keep me above the things that frighten me, my sins, my night terrors, and the violence of the day. My body may perish, but not my soul. I am safe, protected by God through my faith.
I walk through an inferno of fear, despair, and grief, but God holds my hand, saves me from the flames, and the roaring lion, through my faith. Instead of the term “all I need is love”, I say, “all I need is faith”, and God will do the rest.