Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
Some things you just know. You can’t prove it or explain it. It can’t be analyzed or reduced to its raw components. It simply is. The ache in your chest is love. Fresh squeezed lemonade is better in a frosty mug, ice chips swimming near the top. A mother wakes with a midnight intuition; her child is in trouble. Some things you just know.
Most of us are familiar—even comfortable—with this second sense … as long as it stays where it belongs. And it belongs in the shadowy realms, far from our vocations, our budgets, our politics … you know, the real arenas of life. In these supposedly more substantive realms, concrete facts, precise definitions, pie charts, statistics and uncluttered analysis reign. A premium is placed on what you can prove. And it kills your heart.
There is another realm of knowing. It isn’t confined to shadows; rather it dances in the twilight, those magically mysterious moments refusing to be captured by our normal descriptors: morning and night. It is neither. It is both. It is somewhere in between. It is more.
This twilight space is where poets, dreamers, prophets and lovers find themselves most at home. They know deeply, but what they know isn’t limited to what they see—at least not with the eyes most are accustomed to trusting. They see things that are … but aren’t. They hear what is whispered between the crevices of our words. They trust there is more, even if they can’t exactly explain why.
In simpler words, they have faith. Faith is stepping before the door has opened. It is offering a kiss before you are certain it will be returned. Faith is speaking even if you don’t comprehend all you must say. As Kathleen Norris said, “The discipline of poetry teaches poets, at least, that they often have to say things they can’t pretend to understand.” And in that twilight speaking, there is a knowing. A knowing our language can’t capture, our vocabulary can’t describe. Yet it is there. It beats with life. God resides there; it is God’s twilight.
The looming question is whether or not we will embrace it. Will we insist on mere precision, losing the nuance, the harmony, the deeper shades of grace? We are not being asked to dismiss what we already know, abandoning the terrains familiar to us. There is no demand to lay aside the faculties for knowing that we have already explored. It is a simple offering of more. To explore the twilight is not to dismiss the rugged beauty of the day or the quiet sanctity of the night. Without these, twilight would not be.
Will we be open to the possibility that there might be something beyond what we now know? Will we be open to faith? If we allow our poet heart to be awakened, we will experience more. More of God.
Dead Father, show me how to strengthen my faith. Remind me that I can trust in you completely. You never fail me.