Thursday, August 5, 2010

Standing the presence of the abyss

Artist: Thomas Cole

Faith is a coat against ... nakedness. For most of us, most of the time, faith functions so as to screen off the abyss of mystery that surrounds us. But we all at certain times call upon faith to provide nerve to stand in the presence of the abyss -- naked, stripped of life supports, trusting only in the being, the mercy and the power of the Other in the darkness. Faith helps us form a dependable "life space," an ultimate environment. At a deeper level, faith undergirds us when our life space is punctured and collapses, when the felt reality of our ultimate environment proves to be less than ultimate.

-- James W. Fowler, introduction, Stages of Faith


  1. What a beautiful description of faith. Sometimes we think of faith as more of a struggle, something that requires energy. But here it is described more as a protection, as the Psalmists say, a shield. It's beautiful to think that it is faith that will save us when 'life' happens. Let us pray for that kind of faith. A gentle cloak that shields and protects.

  2. I'm so very glad you like this one, Andie. I was very struck by it, myself.

  3. I love the gentle cloak that sheilds and protects.



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