It appears that the biblical authors saw faith as a way of seeing—a way of envisioning the future with hope-inspired imagination. God has given us this incredible gift of being able to shape the world into the vision we have for it. The tools we use are all different, but the effect is the same: our feet and fingers translate what we see (or hear) in our imaginations to physically manifest in the form of art, food, music, architecture, or economic and political solutions. Faith is our ability to see and shape the future into whatever vision we foster on the inside, good or bad, negative or positive.
Some of us may feel like the bastion of certainty that used to be our faith is now riddled with bullet holes. Few walls remain standing. Some may feel that their spiritual life has suffered so many body slams, they aren’t sure if there is any pulse remaining. I read a poignant confession from someone who misses Jesus like she misses an ex. She misses the comfort in knowing that sweet Jesus is with her and looking out for her. She misses praying the prayers that she now no longer believes to be valid prayers. Her confession of post-deconstruction loneliness mirrors the feelings of a widow yearning for a lost lover, or of an amputee having ghost feelings in a lost limb.
I grew up in a tradition that generally believed that the world was getting worse. The idea was in the atmosphere. It was also explicitly taught as coming from the Bible. There would be teaching series from the pulpit on Bible prophecy and what to expect for the future. It was always pretty negative. And depending on whether you believed in a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture, you would have varying levels of anxiety regarding your future. But rarely ever hope.
No one had precedent or capacity to expect the resurrection. But it happened. And now that one event re-defines everything (power, love, freedom), speaks to everything (ego, insecurity, sin, woundedness) and calls us upward into the kind of people we are meant to be (hope-filled, dreamers, servants, lovers). If death can be undone, if the greatest glory can emerge from the ashes of the hugest defeat, then how are we to look at our light and momentary problems? Grieve them? Definitely. And then wait five minutes, “Lazarus, come out!” Or three days, “He is not here; he has risen.” Grief will be dissolved away by the breakthrough of resurrection that follows. All tears will be turned into laughter. All mourning into dancing.