The greatest religious advice I ever received as a child was:
Whatever you got, give it to God.
It doesn’t matter if it’s love, if its anger, if its sadness, if its even that you don’t believe in God. Whatever you got, give it to God.
As I’m moving through my day, I’m contemplating faith. What does it really mean to have faith in the divine? What does it really mean to be healed by one’s faith? What does it really mean when one’s faith is great? Or whether it is small?
The way I’m thinking of faith in this moment is as a conduit of energy.
There are great bonds that unite friends and family. There are great bonds that unite us to this earth – to all the creatures and all the forces of this earth. And there are great bonds that unite us in spirit with the great divine.
Each of these bonds are conduits of energy.
A bond must be established between two people for love and friendship to exist, then we have faith, and trust in the goodwill of the other. We believe and we magnify the greatness of each other by being together.
A bond must be established in order for any energy to move from the divine through a person into the world.
Bonds of trust and goodwill are institutionalized in our society: Doctors are certified and licensed, professionals are certified so that a person of reasonable intellect may trust that what they have to offer is sound and they have faith in that person to perform a function in their lives and thus be open, yielded, vulnerable and welcoming of that one.
Along with our certifications comes our reputation. Our name precedes us in the world. A person can have faith in even just the name of someone, and receive a quote or an idea for instance, simply because of the name of the person who spoke it.
Faith is a conduit of energy, and where a bond is created, energy can move.
In order to truly find my place in this world, I must have a bond of energy to the Divine-
Look up, to the Divine!
And be fully yielded to the power that exists within,
Look up! Look up!
Lift your eyes up to Heaven,
Create a bond with that which is greater than us,
Direct our attention upward,
What is in the Heaven for you?
In the light of the Sun,
In the blue of the sky,
In the billowing of clouds,
In the movement of air,
Be resonant with that which is high, in you.
Be resonant, be yielded with the Divine. Allow the energy to come in as we look up.
We are creating great bonds of energy with the divine, and whether we believe in the presence of God or not, whether we are sad, whether we are angry, whether we are fearful, we can offer it up on the altar of the divine within – and receive something in the act of communion.
In the act of looking up, when we connect with the divine, we receive something, but it is not simply for ourselves. It is for the purpose of moving into our world the energy of divine, holy vibration. It is received because God so loves the world, so loves the united body of humanity, and in order for that holy vibration to move into the heart of another there has to be deep bonds of faith: Bonds of friendship, bonds of love, bonds of trust, bonds of goodwill between us and the people in our world.
We have to have a safe place well-established in the hearts of others in order to have any effect. Then as the fruits of the divine are born, good works are made, lives are touched – thanksgiving is received back from our world. Praise can be received, but it is not for us. When love and thanksgiving returns from my world to me, it is not for me. When fame, reputation, all the goodness that comes with being well-loved in the world are received they are welcome, but not for me – I offer that back to the divine.
In some cultures, this truly open and clear way of thinking about faith, thinking about energy being given and received is fully embedded into their language. In particular, the Ethiopian language and the Ilokano language come to mind. Egzer Ystelen, is an Ethiopian expression, “I thank the divine for the gifts I have received from you.” Abo Ystelen is an expression that “In the divine is the source of all blessings.”
These phrases are used as thank you and you’re welcome, and yet they thoroughly put proper place that the divine holds in our lives.
We are conduits of energy connecting the divine to the people in our world, and we need to love one another very well in order for the divine to move into this world.