To trust the invisible
What is saving our lives
Every Sunday I stand with strangers and speak strange words. We call it a creed, a profession, but it unfolds like a poem, shrouded in mystery, echoing another world.
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
Once I beheld the invisible like a curious child. Wind and words, feelings and thoughts. Stars during daytime. Sunlight during storms. Oxygen and gravity. Radio waves and outer space. Dark matter and light years.
Now I watch unseen powers change my life. Clear chemo dripping into my veins each week. Surgeries that happen while I am asleep. Decisions from doctors across the country. Prayers from people across the planet. I see none of it, and it is saving me.
All things invisible.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
Long ago (and not so very long ago) I would rub my belly and sway slightly as people around me rumbled the words we knew by heart. Stirred by instinct to remember the child growing within me, holding one (or two) invisible lives turning and returning beneath my skin.
Now I rub my own head, soft like baby hair, scratchy beneath my scarf, wondering what that same Lord has in store. Silently pleading with the Giver of Life to give it back to me, for full length of days.
O, Ultimate Invisible. I would like to unfurl the scroll, see the blueprint, review the plans, skip to the ending, choose my own adventure if I’m honest.
But Love dwells in silence. We want to clutter it with words; they clatter to the floor.
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God.
How can anything come from itself? Only the holy invisible replicates and duplicates, echoing like a canyon, chorusing like birdsong.
Here is the heart of the creed, the glowing ember over which our breaths stoke fire. The three lines that became my favorite part of the prayer when I first began to read the words. Impossible to understand and beautiful to believe.
The sizzling spark of Spirit.
The sweeping river of creation.
The wild love of friendship.
The hidden glow of hope.
What is invisible can still be heard: laughter, thunder, music, whisper. The ungraspable essence of prayer, murmured or shouted. The hush of sacred spaces and how we fill them with our warmth.
The sheer small sound of nothing where the holy hides.
I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
Resurrection remains unseen: what happens in a tomb or an upper room, a crowded street or a lonely hill, an operating table or a therapist’s couch or a church’s pew. Heaven is hidden, too, clouded by questions: up in the sky, beyond the stars, or just on the flip side of here?
What is invisible is transparent as glass, tiny as cells, vast as galaxies. We need creeds and congregations, like microscopes and telescopes, to help us see what cannot be glimpsed by our naked eye.
You might assume it takes suspension of belief to accept the invisible, but this is belief itself. God is intangible, out of sight, concealed, and unseen. To trust this reality makes no sense; it is also the ancient bedrock of existence, the unshakable truth on which shaky knees stand.
I am made and remade by forces I have never seen. My brain sparks words. My womb made children. My bones make marrow. My heart keeps beating. My cells learn to kill the cancer that would kill me.
To believe in the invisible is to lean into what you cannot understand or control. We take the medicine or go to the meeting or find the church or tell the therapist or confess the sins or take the leap. We cannot see what comes next but it can save us.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.
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