Have a Little Faith
“If you can do anything,” the boy’s father said, “help us! Show us some compassion!” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can do anything’? All things are possible for one who has faith.” – Mark 9:22-23 (CEB)
Back in the before times, I used to do this thing called Blessings to Go. I would stand on the sidewalk, at the Pride Parade, in the Old City of Jerusalem, or some other public space with a sandwich sign that said “Blessings to Go” on one side and “Ask me for a blessing” on the other.
And people did ask. College students and senior citizens, parents with toddlers, folks from the local synagogue, people who’d never set foot in a church, and people who’d sworn never to go back. Drivers who saw my sign and made a U-turn in the middle of the street.
I heard heartbreaking stories and fantastic hopes. One day a woman asked me to pray that she would conceive a child.
A couple months later I ran into her.
“Do you remember me?” she asked, her face beaming. “I haven’t told many people yet, but your prayer worked! I’m going to have a baby!”
I was thrilled for her, and … I don’t believe prayer is magic. I’ve seen plenty of bad things happen to good, faithful people. And I know some of us, myself included, spend lifetimes praying for blessings that haven’t come.
But I’ve also seen how humble trust in God’s goodness can open our hearts to receive a flood of unexpected grace. While I might have a hard time believing all things are possible, I choose to trust that more things are more possible than I think.
I do have faith, God. Mostly. Some of the time. Help my lack of faith!
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.