Wednesday, April 18, 2012
As I walked early one morning across the university campus near my home, I noticed that a young atheist had been attempting to proselytize his beliefs in chalk on the sidewalk from one side of the mall to the other: "The invisible and the nonexistent are very much the same," was the quote hastily written at least a dozen times. How shallow, I thought, as I walked on, conversing to God, contemplating how little of life this young collegian understood. What follows is what came out of my conversation with my "invisible, nonexistent" God on that walk.
Air is invisible, yet without it, we would die. We could not breathe, we could not smell, we could not taste, we could not hear, and ultimately, we could not exist.
What is it that we hear, as we cannot see sound? Imagine life without music, without communication, without the ability to hear danger.
Where does thought come from? What inspires invention? Art? Music? Indeed, every morsel of human inspiration? It comes seemingly out of nowhere.
And what of emotion? It is only something we can feel, not touch, hear or smell. How then, can emotion be so all-consuming? Does love not exist because it cannot be seen? How about compassion? Forgiveness? Reconciliation? What about peace? Mercy? Grace? All are driven by this invisible thing called emotion. Many great things can happen as a result of these things, yet of themselves, they are invisible, scientifically nonexistent or irrelevant. Moreover, they can't be used for evil. In their midst, evil flees. They can only spawn goodness and greatness. They hold the power to heal relationships, to transform societies, to end wars, to inspire men to do great things, yet they appear as nothing--invisible, nonexistent.
This is but the tip of the iceberg of everything in the entire universe that evolves out of the "invisible and nonexistent". If not for the invisible, nothing would be visible, nothing would be audible, and we would not feel a thing--yes, indeed, we would not exist.
Therefore, like it or not, our very existence finds itself eternally bound to that which is invisible. Everything else is fleeting. Tangible things can indeed control us to an extent, receive our affections, demand our allegiance, and even dictate our addictions, but we can survive just fine without them. Only food, which again comes out of nowhere, do we need to survive. I find it amazing and ironic that some find the need to mock and even deny the Invisible One, who has so obviously manifest his intrinsic invisible nature into the sum total of His entire creation to the point where our very existence depends solely on that which we will never see. But still, they defiantly, blindly refuse to believe.
I have faith, or "invisible, nonexistent" faith, as you would call it, and you mock me, you call me a fool. Yet, my invisible faith sustains me, inspires all the goodness, compassion, mercy and love that flows from my life. It picks me up when I am let down, and it motivates me, aspires me to be the best person I can be. My faith is not contingent on correct theology, yours, my own, or someone else's, for it does not originate in the corridors of men's minds, but rather, it flows from the heart of a living, "invisible, nonexistent" God and into the hearts and souls of every person who wills to open up and receive it. When all your toys have broken, when old love has failed you, when old age finally robs you of all the knowledge you've acquired, when your money is gone, when your philosophers and your politicians and your manmade religions and anti-religions have let you down, my invisible faith, which you despise, will carry me to my grave, and I believe, beyond, with a smile on my face and peace in my soul. I thank God for the invisible.