The Missing “E”
Eight years ago, I was walking through the sanctuary of the church I pastored, and nestled beneath a pew were six white beads with black letters, strung together in a semicircle: B-E-L-I-E-V
I thought of the disciple, Thomas, who was one E short of being able to believe that Jesus had risen. I thought of the modern-day Thomases—both those who fill the pews and those who avoid the pews. This spark on the floor spoke as loudly as the stained glass window on the wall.
Sometimes we believe wholeheartedly. Other times we feel like we’re one E short. We believe up to a point, but then questions enter. Our minds race. Our thoughts crowd out our faith. No greater blockade is there to joy than confusion. Yet how do we find joy when our circumstances raise endless questions, pressing decisions, and various outcomes—creating a windstorm of confusion?
As I walked to my office and opened my computer , I discovered a new single from Mumford & Sons was releasing at that time. And the title was “Believe.” I listened to it and remember well the prayer offered in it: “I don’t even know what I believe. So open up my eyes. Tell me alive.”
Some of us long for definitiveness. We grow anxious when we don’t have all the answers we want. Mystery makes us nervous. The missing “E” distracts us. We crawl under pews to search for something that is not on the floor.
Mumford & Sons reminded me to pay attention both to the bracelet on the floor and to the window up above. The Father is in both places. Christ extends his scarred hands toward us from above & below. The Spirit speaks to us from the recording studio and in the sanctuary. To believe is to risk moving forward without the third “E”—trusting and hoping that in Him we are indeed complete.
all good things to each of you,