礼品之路 ( Lǐpǐn zhī lù ) – The Gift of Faith

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Every now and then I am overrun by well intended people who deem it necessary to tell me what I am not, with regards to faith & belief.

It seems to come in waves, like summer thunderstorms in Liangxiang.

Suddenly.

In abundance.

And like the pounding rain, it washes, cleanses and refreshes.

Faith is a gift, I think.

Like everything else.

And no one can presume to tell anyone what they believe or what they should believe.

I seem to remember ancient writings declaring boldly that it is only our Origin Who can see into the depths of peoples’ hearts and weigh and measure it.

For which I am grateful,  having been weighed and measured on numerous occasions,  by various of my own kind, and always rejected as somewhat less than acceptable.

I patiently wait for Them to measure and weigh, for I firmly believe, if they would weigh, it would not be me who are weighed, but They weighing Themselves and attributing to me a merit which I do not warrant.

Just like my kind, Their weighing and measuring is based upon Themselves and so, believing that They are more, I rather embrace being weighed with Them.

With Them, I will have substance.

Faith is the gift of sight.

Not 20/20 vision.

Just sight.

In a world which is blind, faith is the gift to be enabled to see beyond what is visible and measurable.

I cannot create faith.

I cannot search for it and find it like a treasure.

I receive it.

And in receiving it, I am enabled.

To live differently.

To live deeply rooted in our common Origin.

To be everything I have been since before I began.

I cannot remember a time when I did not have faith.

My first memories are filled with an awareness and an awe of a world which is so much more than me and what I can see.

And although, over time, how I verbalise what has been (and are) received inside my being, has changed – what has been (and are) received has not changed.

It cannot change.

For it is not a set of rules.

Neither is it a description of something or someone.

It is just sight.

And with that sight I see.

And all I can describe is what is seen.

Sometimes we stand in front of the window and see an ocean.

Other times we see an ugly dilapidated apartment block.

I suppose it depends on where we are when we look.

And maybe what we look for as well.

Yesterday I stood on the porch of the house which has become our home over the past two weeks.

I saw the backwall of our neighbours’ home.

On it gutters.

5 of them.

It was raining, water gushing out at the bottom of each, flowing into our little yard.

At the top of each, beautifully adorned with a red star on a square container which receives the water as it is collected on the roof.

Zuko was standing with me on our porch.

We were drinking coffee.

She didn’t notice the wall or the gutters.

Her attention was grabbed by the five beautiful fruit trees just off the porch.

She knows what each one will bear.

And when.

She showed me the little fruit and told me, with the recent rains, over the past two weeks, the fruit has swollen.

I didn’t see that.

Although I love the trees, their green and shade, I did not notice their fruit or that their fruit has swollen.

Zuko showed me the leaves of each, comparing them to other fruit trees, talking about small differences and why it might be.

I cannot talk about fruit trees.

I see them differently.

I love that they bring Zuko happiness and when the nut-tree finally sheds I will love the nuts too.

We both have sight.

We both see differently.

And so it is, I think, with the sight we receive as gift, which is often called faith.

We all see.

We all see differently.

And even if we stand in the same place, what will grab our attention will be different, for who we each are, is different.

What I see is true.

It is, however, not the only truth.

It cannot be, for it is impossible for anyone of us to see everything, completely in the brief moment which is our life.

And like Zuko told me about the five fruit trees she saw and sees, I can tell you what I see.

And perhaps if we keep on telling each other, and listening to what we each describe, somehow, our view of what is, could become a little more complete, although never completed.

Faith does not save.

Faith is not a ticket into ‘heaven’.

Faith does not create ‘membership’, or makes you acceptable.

It is just sight.

Perhaps that is why, on so many occasions, it is told that the Christ, of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John’s stories, cured blindness?

Gave sight.

Because our Origin gives sight?

So that we may see Them, past the blur of being so very sophisticated and deeply devout?

So that we may see our world, and our place in it, for more than mere meat and blood, destroyed to rot and die and return to dust?

So that we may know They do not abandon what They have Originated?

And They judge with a loaded measure?

Always taking care and being involved, beyond our reason?

And so I will continue to tell, whomever is willing to listen, of what I see, even though I seldom notice the fruit trees.

And I will continue to listen, to whomever is willing to tell of what they see, even though we each see only a little bit.

And I will embrace, even the well intentioned souls who would wish to keep me quiet or tell me that I did not see what I saw and because I say I saw what I saw I will be destined for great destruction and disappointment.

And I will be in awe.

As we share our gift of sight.

For gifts are given, so that they might be shared.

And gifts cannot be denied.

And what we see cannot be unseen.

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