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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Faith: Forced to look up

There is a stairway on my way home from work. It must have a hundred steps. Anyways, when they built it, there was a sign at the bottom of the hill that said “One Hundred Steps Project”. I have always assumed there are a hundred steps though I have not counted. It is a long arduous climb to the top. Even if I do it everyday, it seems it still wearies me. Those people who run up the stairs smiling and sweating annoy me just a tad.

As I climb I always look down at the steps in front of me. I always look down while walking in Jersey. It is all that dog poop on the sidewalk that got me in the habit of looking down. Often I never notice the beauty around me as I navigate myself through the streets. Always looking down.

Recently something happened to the stairs that has forced me to look up. Someone wrote graffiti all over the risers. Now if I look down, I read about all the things this stranger thinks he did to my mother and sister. I find the climb much less pleasant now. Unless I look up.

There is what appears to be an insurmountable mountain in my life. Everyday I climb a few more steps on my way up the mountain. Honestly, half the days I think I trip and slide back down. Learning how to live in right relationship with God, myself and others is a bitch. I skin my knees a lot as I fall. Without intending to do so, I often do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. It is probably because I keep looking down.

This week something happened in my journey. I have been forced to look up. I can no longer tolerate looking down at the graffiti. I must look up because that is from where my salvation comes.

Everything about my life seems to be about faith recently. Every message someone shares with me. “Walk by faith not by sight.” My favorite is the pastor who pointed out it is not faith if you can see how the step you are taking right now takes you to your goal. Call it faith when there seems to be no logical connection. When there is no evidence that your actions will have a result.

I have wanted to quit a lot these last few weeks. Pain racks my soul and spirit so deep it feels like a knife pierces my heart. I long for relief and release from the pain. I wonder if I cut my skin if I would feel better. I try not to entertain the idea. But sometimes I spend time meditating on it. Sometimes when I am in a pit, I look down at the muck, as if it was not bad enough I was already stuck.

But the pit has gotten to be too much for me. I have been forced to look up. I do not even want to look up right now. I am furious at God. He could change me. He could change my circumstances. He could change my friends. It just seems He doesn’t. I don’t know why. It annoys me. It makes me want to look down and figure out how I can fix it, but my hope does not come from looking down. Neither does my joy. I must look up.

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