Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry…
For I am but a sojourner with you, a wayfarer,
as all my forebears were… (Psalm 39:12-13)
As you might know from reading this post, I just finished reading Addie Zierman’s new memoir, Night Driving. Addie and I could not have had more different faith journeys. She was raised evangelical and experienced a burning fire for God in her youth – a fire that has since all but dimmed, if not at times been entirely extinguished. I, on the other hand, have bumbled through a lukewarm faith, at times wrestling through long, deep periods of outright unbelief.
Addie had the fire but lost it; I never had the fire, but can’t stop seeking it. Though we began at markedly different places, our paths have intersected.
As we’ve stumbled through our long darknesses, Addie and I have both come to realize something important. She puts it like this:
“Love doesn’t always look like romance and faith doesn’t look like fire and light doesn’t always look like the sun — and this matters.
Jesus is the Light of the world. In him there is no darkness, the Bible says. But there are so many different ways that Light manifests itself. It’s the pinks and oranges of a summer dawn. It’s the full, bright sun glancing off the wave tips of the ocean. The hazy winter starlight. The shivering, waning moon. The falling dusk, still glowing like a promise at the edges of the world.”
In other words, there is no “right” way to have faith. This is no “one” way. Faith ebbs and flows, turning like the seasons — petals, leaves, bare branches, buds. Faith can be bright as the midday sun, soft as dawn, faint as a single pinprick star in a black sky.
We are not in this world for long. We are sojourners – people who stay only temporarily in a place — and wayfarers – people who travel by foot, slowly, and at times, ungracefully, picking our way through the vast wilderness. But we keep walking nonetheless, trusting that God is with us, no matter how brightly, or faintly, our faith lights the path ahead.