It’s creeping on 6AM on Sunday morning. I was hoping that I’d still be sleep until at least 8:30 AM or whenever Calista gets up because I haven’t had much sleep in the past few days. But nature and a flip in my stomach has me up. I need to write. This morning I need to write about faith.
In my mind, I can feel the resistance to writing on this subject. Even as I logged on my computer, I could feel the pull to run off course and read some Hollywood or political gossip or check out Facebook. I’m looking for a distraction because I know that in writing this there is no going back for me. It feels like signing a confession and then making it public. But, I have pushed myself into it and the only thing that can stop me now is Kanye West walking into my kitchen and snatching my laptop from me. Oh Kanye where are you when I need you?
Faith. What is faith? Well, if you look it up in the dictionary, you’re going to come across a few definitions that offer a meaning very similar to that of religion. For example, “I am of the Christian faith.” This is a comfortable definition that doesn’t require digging deep to discover anything about ourselves or our relationship to God and our brothers and sisters in Creation. This is not the definition I am talking about. I’m talking about the faith found in Hebrews 11:1 that calls it the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This is the same faith spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that reads, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Now why do I not want to write about this? It’s those last three words, “NOT BY SIGHT“, that get me. Those three words are the requirement of faith that most of us miss and they are the words that hold the essence of what true faith is. In other words, if you have to see something before you believe it, you are not operating on faith. End of story. Most of us like saying the words, “I have faith.” It sounds spiritual, which is real trendy right now. But in reality, it is a pretty empty statement if you are completely focused on what things look like. True faith requires us to always be open minded–to be able to say, “There is always more than meets the eye.”
Faith takes us beyond all known experience. This includes our own and all others that can be spoken of. In faith, there is an inherent newness to everything that cannot be diminished by time, circumstance, or even destruction. The experience of faith is seen in the Unseen and known in the Unknown. Faith does not rely on proof. Faith does not rely on testimony. Faith can go to a cross and believe in resurrection. Faith walks into complete and utter darkness without a flashlight, because it is in that place that faith becomes the light. It is through, with, and because of faith that each of us has the power to glow in the dark. Just ask Kanye.
When Kanye jumped on that stage and took the mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands, what do you think was on his mind? I bet the only thing that was on his mind was what he said. He was walking in total darkness strutting in his full Kanyeriffic glory speaking words that only Kanye could speak. That’s what Kanye does. And to do that requires faith. In John 3:8 it says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Sounds a lot like Kanye to me.
I know no one wants to hear that. We want to see Kanye as a “jackass” like the President alledgedly said because it is the comfortable and easy thing to do. Notice I said “WE”. I’ve struggled with it myself. But at the end of the day, after laughing and being in a little shock, I chose to sit with this episode, as he put it, and consider his feelings right now. I won’t get deep into where that led me. But, I will say that I’m certain and find hope in the thought that every single one of us has a little Kanye in us–the audacity to call foul when we believe an injustice has occurred. I think that’s why we get shocked by thing like this. It blows our minds when people let out the things we are too afraid to show and try so hard to keep inside–when they glow in the dark.
Most people have forgotten that in 2002 Kanye was in a near fatal car accident. In describing how the accident affected him, he had this to say:
“At the point before the accident, my whole goal in life was to eventually be able to do nothing. Now that I see the type of impact I’m gonna make on music and the community, my responsibility is now to do everything for the fans, for the community.”
The light in Kanye’s mind was turned on by that accident and he hasn’t let it turn down since. How can I judge what that means to him? Like most people, I brace myself when Kanye is about to speak. But, because I have chosen to make my life about Unity, I refuse to judge another without trying to see what they can teach me about myself. It’s never easy to do, but I’ve seen the results of living the alternative and frankly I think it’s headed nowhere. I know that I am related to everyone through God and that denying that takes a lot more from me than it could ever give. There’s no point in fighting it. Besides that, I’ve also accepted that in order to live by faith, I have to acknowledge that I cannot judge this world by what I see–no matter how tempting that is. I have to walk in the Truth that there’s always more than meets the eye.