You’ve Gotta Have Faith… Don’t You?

14Jun13

After reading The Daily Post this morning, I saw that it asked an interesting question today regarding faith and when you realized you first had it or didn’t have it, whatever the case may be. This time of year always brings up questions of faith for me personally. Five years ago this week, my father passed away after a bout with cancer. Even though I was raised Roman Catholic and went to parochial school until I was 12, I never really considered myself religious at all and I don’t think I had a lot of faith at that point. Actually, my thoughts at the time were more along the lines of why would a man with a wife and six kids and grand-kids not take care of himself well enough to let himself die at a young age and what kind of God would allow that to happen? I had always felt like religion was kind of forced upon me up to that point and had some resentment towards the church and God because of that. If anything, my father’s death made me feel like I had even less faith than ever before.

It was shortly after that I stumbled across William Paul Young’s book “The Shack” when I was walking through a bookstore. I had never heard of the book at that point but for some reason I picked it up and read what it was about. The story line sounded interesting to me and it felt like something that I not only wanted to read, but I had to read. I could identify with the main character of the story. I felt the resentment, hurt and loss and a complete lack of faith and I think I needed something to get me back on the right direction and this book just happen to come along at just the right time for me. I read the book, read it again, and then bought copies for each of my siblings, for friends or anyone else who might show an interest. I can’t say the book turned me into a Born Again Christian and I didn’t start going to church regularly and I certainly was not a religious zealot of any kind, but the book did help to restore some faith for me.

Flash ahead to a year later in June 2009 and I was lying in a hospital bed in a coma dying from something no one could figure out. While I was in my own little world of the coma, people were praying for me all around the country. Family and friends had started prayer chains, my name was remembered at masses in churches, people prayed at my bedside. Michelle even prayed at the hospital with some people who were Orthodox Jews who were also praying and thought they should join her. You know what? I think it made a big difference. It may have taken several months in the hospital for things to start to resolve themselves and I didn’t come out of the coma until late August of that year, but I survived and I think prayer and faith had a lot to do with it. And while I was in my  coma world, my father did visit me several times and I always told me I was being looked after and watched. That’s one of the things I actually remember clearly from the whole experience.

When I was finally moved to Helen Hayes Hospital for my rehabilitation, I was visited every few days by a deacon who was at the hospital. In the past, I don’t think I would have given much credence to his visits and he probably would not have stopped by after the first time. However, something inside me wanted him there every time he came. He would offer me the Eucharist, which I had not taken in many years, and I always accepted. Then we would say a brief prayer, chat, and he would be on his way. And each time it happened, it made me feel better, as if someone was helping me along on my journey to recovery.

I may not have returned to church and I still may not be a very religious person, but I have  come to realize that having faith and being religious do not necessarily have to go hand in hand. I can still believe in God and all his work without walking through church doors or anything like that. Do I pray every day? No, I don’t, but I do it a lot more often than I ever had in the past because I do believe in its power and I believe that it is a way that we all can communicate with God. I know it’s not for everyone and far be it from me to force my ideas on anyone else – I don’t like it when it’s done to me and wouldn’t do that to anyone – but I truly believe that having a little faith can really help see you through rough times.

So here’s the question if you feel like answering:

Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time.

You can leave an answer here in the comments section or catch up with me on Facebook or Twitter. I am curious to see if anyone else has had an experience that has helped them along the way.

I do have some other ideas and questions to come along in the next few days, so stop on back and see what comes along. I promise I’ll be here – have a little faith.

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5 Responses to “You’ve Gotta Have Faith… Don’t You?”

  1. what an uplifting narrative of faith healing

    • 2 MikeG

      Thanks Laura and thank you for stopping by and commenting! I think faith made a big difference in why I am still here today.


  1. 1 My First Search For God | The Jittery Goat
  2. 2 Daily Prompt: In My Mother’s Good Faith | Humbled Pie
  3. 3 A MARRIAGE AND ITS PRECIPICE | hastywords

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