Why Do We Have to Hide Faith?

by Emily Jasper on February 22, 2010

We don’t talk about religion. Many of us are afraid to mention it to each other. We might be on hiatus from being active in a congregation, but many of us probably look to the heavens and wonder. Is someone listening?

A friend of our family passed away last week. The cancer won, and this amazing man with so many talents became a shell. This happens so often. I’ve seen it at least three other times. The spirit of the one you love becomes trapped in a body that can’t fight anymore. In some cases, death seems to be freedom.

Each time I get a call from my mother about someone else, I always pull out my copy of The Book of Common Prayer. I have one page marked because it seems I come back to it quite often:

“Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope…”

I fully admit that I struggle with a crisis of faith every day. I need something to believe in, but I find that I have identified with the journey, not the destination. While I may be taking a leap by talking about God, I can tell you, that leap is what keeps me going some days.

Sure, we can talk about God in the context of The Da Vinci Code or in the latest news reports from the Vatican. Political discussions always seem to bring up religious sides, and we see regularly what extremists like to do in the name of God. This isn’t new. We all have some understanding of the differences between faiths, even if we can’t tell the differences between denominations.

God may have no place in your life, but I’m sure goodness does. Kindness. Love. Things that provide you with a moral compass, even if you stray. You may not believe in an afterlife, or you may find that you suddenly promise to make up transgressions when you survive a car accident. You might talk to yourself as you walk home alone at night, secretly hoping that something else is watching over you. You may close your eyes after looking at a bank account balance and pray that next month with be better.

Life has gotten hard for many over the past year. Life has always been hard for others.

At the end of the day, why can’t we hope? Why can’t we trust in someone or something to walk with us? To light our way? To be a comfort?

Is it so wrong to believe in something?