Faith in uncertainty
I have talked with William a few times now. He is always sitting on the sidewalk by the grocery store. He is a talker and a manic one at that. The last time we talked he shared how his sister had helped him through his mental health crisis. She quit her job at a powerful law firm in New York so she could take care of him. She helped him finish school and get stable. He gushed nonstop about the sacrificial love of his sister. He is forever grateful and proud of himself for being able to pay her back with money he has earned over the years. “She doesn’t need money, and I could never really pay her back. It feels good to contribute what I can. It’s a way to show my thankfulness.” As we part ways, he thanks me for listening to him. He lets me know that listening has the power to bring much healing to people who are hurting.
Tonight, William is sitting in his spot reading books on prayer and theology. He is excited about the mystery of communicating with God. “If we have the ability to talk with God, we should take advantage of it!” I agree and listen to him share his heart. He tells me that faith in God doesn’t mean you know everything. It means that you have peace in the uncertainty of life. The mystery of God is supernatural joy in the midst of suffering. William stands up and begins to preach. “The Bible says Jesus is a healer, not a cure!” We talk about the reality of being healed and not cured of mental illness. “I have a few bad days a month. But, compared to ten years ago I am a walking miracle!”
Our attention turns to the ten-week-old puppy my fellow street minister has brought with us. The most powerful expression of God’s love may be a miniature Dotson. The puppy is in William’s lap and we’re all smiling from ear to ear. William tells me how there are all kinds of ways to pray. “You can kneel or stand. There are prayers of praise and grief. Prayers of blessing and gratitude!” Yes, William’s prayer is a conversation with God! I ask William if he wants to pray together. A polite and refreshing “No thank you” is his response. As we say our goodbyes William shares a parting blessing. “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16). Thank you, William, I receive your prayer of blessing!