by M. Gayle MacDonald
God is not unrelated to my life and my living, and so I cannot sit down and separate my thoughts on God in the peace and quiet of my study--because there is rarely peace and quiet in my study. Quickly I realize that if I am going to depend on an atmosphere in which peace and quiet prevail to reveal to me the words I needed to articulate my faith, my Credo will be very short indeed.
I have found, finally, a few moments of solitude in which to "formulate a framework for faith phrases". Quickly I begin to articulate my "articles" and have completed a couple of pages when my 17-year-old comes to speak with me. His friend needs some assistance. I am not sure if the interruption is an annoyance or a relief. I feel I need to be left alone so I can find the “God-words” I need to finish this assignment, but already I realize I don't have all that much to say. Just as quickly I balance my options. "Thank you, son" I said silently as I respond with integrity and surety to a guilt-free means of avoiding the more difficult of my two choices.
With his problem solved and in the light of my life as it is lived, I return to the task of articulating faith. I try again, asking myself: "In the midst of all of this, who is God for me and who am I as God's child and what exactly do I believe?"
Then I hear it--at first faintly, and then more clearly. No, not the still small voice of God--but a kind of rhythmic, muffled squeak, squeak, squeak.
"My bed!!!" I run upstairs, God-thoughts “in tow”, yelling "Get out of my room right now!!" I yell at my10-year-old and his rather hyper friend. I shoo them outside (which shooing takes about 15-20 minutes of finding spare snowpants and mitts and a hat for the visitor).
Sometimes it is much easier to respond to a crisis than to venture into the hinder regions of doubt, to de-limit what is definite and describe the dangerous nether places where nebulousness awaits to obscure what is obvious and complicate what is simple. Perhaps in the midst of children and minor crises and unmanageable time constraints I can find the means to sweep awayvague categories, causing the dust devils of contradiction to cower beneath the weight of a well-woven rug resplendent in its accurate revelation of faith. But alas, I am human, living in a human world. My words must necessarily fail to fully capture the essence of the Word. So time and again I choose to respond with all of my being to the crises presented by my sons, confident that these are the more immediate and more possible of my tasks as a Christian.
Yet, miraculously, the moment really does arrive when I can sit in peace and quiet at my computer. It is late and the other occupants of the house are sound asleep. There is nothing to keep me from explicating my credo, other than the fact that the four pages I have already typed seem to belong to another world--a kind of "God vacation land" I rarely get to visit. Fortunately for me, God who populates my rare moments of extended meditation and even rarer times of retreat, also lives and breathes and has being in my everyday world of chaotic children and their never-ending stream of minor crises, of term papers and assignments, of neighbours and friends and family, of joy and pleasure, of sorrow and grief.
And so, in the all the unexpected events and unexplainable emotions which weave in and out of my life, I turn to you and say with all that I am: "I believe!"