My grandmother, Juanita Saxon, went to sleep in the Lord in May of this year. She passed after a long, strenuous battle with congestive heart failure (and other ailments). My grandmother was (as was my grandfather, “Pop”), to me, the very picture of Christian faithfulness. By her last breath she had fully formed her life into the image of her Lord, sharing in his passion in her own (as must we all), and finding herself finally to be alive and ready to be at rest in him. I was with her during the time of her passion, with my family. Seeing her suffer and then pass into her rest has been the cause for much reflection for me. Perhaps most profound of these reflections has been the meaning of a word that we Christians often throw around far too easily: Faith. I offer this reflection here.
Faith is hard. Faith is what remains when all else is stripped away. Too often we Christians speak the word “faith” easily, lightly, without realizing the depths of commitment the word requires. Jesus came preaching “repent…” and “believe….” (cf. Mark 1:15) This is the essence of the gospel’s call upon us. But what does it mean to “believe”?