Thursday, July 5, 2012

Taste and See

"But this is my belief: that at the heart of Christianity is a power that continues to speak and transform us.  As I found to my surprise and alarm, it could speak even to me: not in the sappy, Jesus-and-cookies tone of mild-mannered liberal Christianity, or the blustering, blaming hellfire of the religious right.  What I heard, and continue to hear, is a voice that can crack religious and political convictions open, that advocates for the least qualified, least official, least likely; that upsets the established order and makes a joke of certainty.  It proclaims against reason that the hungry will be fed, that those cast down will be raised up, and that all things, including my own failures, are being made new.  It offers food without exception to the worthy and unworthy, the screwed-up and pious, and then commands everyone to do the same.  It doesn't promise to solve or erase suffering but to transform it, pledging that by loving one another, even through pain, we will find more life.  . . . . Faith, for me, isn't an argument, a catechism, a philosophical "proof."  It is instead a lens, a way of experiencing life, and a willingness to act. . . . As the Bible says: Taste and see."

Sara Miles, Take this Bread: A radical conversion, pp xvii-xviii.

I started reading this book this week, and I'm looking forward to finishing the story of this woman who encountered God in a way that transformed her life.  Apparently (I haven't gotten to this part yet), she's been working hard on building food pantries for the poor in her world.  But this paragraph really resonated with me because it articulates some things for me about the way of faith, how complicated and unexpected it is sometimes.

What do you think?  Food for thought?

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