“I was there to hear your borning cry,
I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized
To see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child
With a faith to suit you well.”
Lyrics to “Borning Cry” John C. Ylvisaker
Today I found myself reflecting quite a bit on one of the lines of this popular hymn, “with a faith to suit you well.”
I wonder what is a “faith that suits us well?” Is it a faith that finds us completely devoted to living out our Christian calling 24 hours a day, seven days a week? If indeed this would be the case, I wonder if “things” would get manufactured? I wonder what kind of financial resources people would have. I wonder what if everyone, everywhere, were completely devoted to living out a Christian life 24/7 what the world would look like?
Then I thought about various “faithful” Christians that I have known over my life. For some of these sisters and brothers in Christ their faith was best viewed on Sunday mornings, but they would rather not be seen on Friday evenings as they “partied hard” to shake off a difficult work week. Of course, others “faithfully” placed what could only be considered very generous financial gifts in the offering plates at church. These large financial offerings may have been an incredibly small percentage of their income, but in comparison to the general congregation these offerings sustained church buildings. Still other “faithful” Christians that I’ve known spend an incredible amount of time devoted to prayer, Scripture reading, and reflection, but find being part of a larger community of faith or “organized” religion not necessary.
“a faith to suit you well”, what a great thought to ponder; even more so when the author suggests that this faith was present when we were but children.
Hmmm… perhaps that’s the key. Perhaps we need to recall our faith before our formal education, before we have been “mainstreamed” into our culture as adults, before we learned what is right and acceptable in a community of faith and just were the children we instinctively were created to be.
Yes, that kind of faith refreshes my spirit! The faith that allowed me to share some of my “priziest possessions” with my friends simply because they were my friends. The faith that allowed me to give every penny I had available to a friend who ran out of money on a vacation, simply because I knew I would be ok. The faith that allowed me to give time to a friend who was experiencing incredible sorrow even though it meant that I missed an important meeting at school which would benefit me. Yes… perhaps that is the faith that suits me well!
In any event, whatever the “faith that suits you well,” will probably look and feel different than the faith that suits me well. That’s simply how God works. I believe God loves diversity. The youngest to the oldest. Woman, man, white, black, straight, gay, American, Russian, Christian, Muslim, whatever boundaries humans put in place, God transcends those boundaries. Simply put; God love us all. God loves those people who naturally speak what’s on their mind and God loves people who find themselves too meek to speak their mind. God loves people who easily speak and share with others about their faith and God loves people who speak their faith without ever saying a word.
So, on this New Year’s Eve day, I would ask each of you… what is the “faith that suits you well?” Whatever your answer, remember the third verse of this hymn “I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun. When the evening gently closes in and you shut your weary eyes, I’ll be there as I have always been, with just one more surprise.”
On the last evening of 2020 we can rest peacefully knowing that God has been… is… and always will be accompanying us on our worldly pilgrimage! (at least that’s what my well-suited faith tells me!)
Until next time
Trust God, keep washing those hands, and ponder your faith!