Notes from Jan

Where Does Faith Come From and Why?

April 11, 2016

Frederick Buechner  in Listening to Your Life asks, “Such faith as I have, where did it come from and why?”

Growing up, I was sometimes called, “Pollyanna”  or “Alice in Wonderland.”  Once in awhile, I took it as compliment. Most of the time, it stung like a rebuke for being more dreamer than dishwasher. Which I was. Still am.


Not a virtue among some Norwegians.

Still, the older I get, the more comfortable  with being than doing.  More at home with mystery, gray areas and my sometimes flimsy faith but still faith.

For some, it’s impossible to believe in Jesus and the resurrection.  For me, it’s harder not to believe. Why? I’m not sure, so I’m stuck wondering, “Such faith as I have, where did it come from and why?”

Faith makes no sense in a world where seeing is believing and the material world reigns.    And  yet, when I read, “I am a helpless hungerer after the marvelous,” Buechner’s describing me.

True faith needs both:   washed dishes and dreams. The book of James states the case for  faith and work. 

But the question remains, “Such faith as I have, where did it come from and why?”

In the meantime I say to myself, “‘Ponder anew what the Almighty can do’ and  while you ponder, do the dishes.”

Then I up the ante with,”Remember, there’re more than a few Norwegians  keeping watch from their heavenly perch,  Pollyanna.”



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  • Reply susan April 11, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I am grateful our church acknowledges and understands that we all have our doubts.
    You did a fine job (as I knew you would) of preaching on Easter Eve and it was lovely spending some time with you, however brief.
    Isn’t Spring just the bee’s knees?

  • Reply Dale Lefever April 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    The transition from human doing to human being is not an easy one for a Pennsylvania Mennonite, so thanks for the encouragement.

    Blessings, Dale

  • Reply Wendy Lane April 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Such a good question. I’m so thankful that I believe even if I can’t explain it. But I do look back and see His Hand over and over in my life and that helps me believe – even when I’m struggling to believe! Another hard question is, why do I believe, and some I love so dearly do not…

  • Reply Becky Manseau Barnett April 11, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Hm, I was just trying to figure out where to start today as I come down from a long few weeks. You’ve inspired me! As I ponder, I’ll get going on that pile of dishes in the sink! xo

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