Some say this is a faithless world;
they grieve the loss of the sacred;
they speak with longing of other times
when the unseen held a place of significance;
and the rules were clear and
everyone agreed what they should be.
Some say that faith has gone, and good riddance;
they celebrate the triumph of reason,
they run with joy and abandon into a freedom
that is without boundaries;
that makes its own way – or none;
that has little time for stories of long ago,
of hidden mysteries,
and silent grace.
But, is it not strange, that even these still cling to that
which, to others, appears trivial or meaningless;
an old, worn gift from a special someone years ago;
a dream, a vision, of love or work or truth or life,
that is still nurtured in the secret corners of the heart;
a word, quickly spoken, that remains lodged in the soul,
giving guidance or comfort or a place to stand,
long after its voice has gone silent.
Perhaps then, it is not too foolish to continue to believe,
Perhaps there is a case to be made for stories and prayer and hymnody;
for gathering, again and again, around an ordinary stable,
for kneeling beside a dusty trough,
for worshipping a baby God.
Perhaps there is still a place for finding myself in the grasp of one,
whose birth was darkened with the shadow of death,
whose life resisted the call of the mediocre,
Perhaps there is still some paradoxical wisdom
in the foolishness of faith,
in the unreasonableness of a God
in the choice to allow my life to be centred
on this unfathomable idea.
Perhaps, in telling the story again, I can remember
that faith is the most humble, most profound, of invitations
that this foolish world can accept.