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Monday, October 14, 2013

Glimmer Of Faith

A comment made. A question asked. A tone interpreted. A misunderstanding, or maybe not. A reminder of past offense. Sting of tear. Bite of fear. “And God, I thought I buried this all a long time ago,” I wave garden spade at Him.

I stand outside processing wild weeds among dry stalks fading in fall yellow. And there is web tangled in it all. I look at it all tangley. All clingy to what is dead and should be buried but is on display. And at this moment I feel like what it looks like.

Tangled tenacious. Wild weave. Hanging tight to life familiar. Life messy. Messy web.

The suffering in the web. I get it. I don’t know why troubles stick so hard. Contention without and fears within and crippling memories still cripple.

And what is web? This web? Ugly. That’s what. It clings to rambunctious disorder. Weedy, stalky live twisted around itself. And it clings all relentless grip, to insect. Biting, stinging, insects. It is castle in the air with dungeon door open for sight-seers. I want to sever it with spade, wad it up, and bury it deep with the same spade. The one I waved at God.


One webby strand is caught in cling of light. Then disappears. I stand stalk still. All eye caught up. Waiting for light to strum web.

And there it is again!

Hope’s nourishment. I watch til I see what I didn’t know I was looking for. But I know it when I see it.



“This is what faith looks like,” I hear God.

Spade falls to ground. I don’t want the weapon anymore and I don’t want to bury anything. I want to see more faith. To capture that run of light glinting. To wrap faith web around it and drink it in.

To just drink light.

Web strand is invisible except where sun runs slender finger over it. Points it out. Faith invisible. Except where God finger strums.


Webby substance. Tested by sorrows. I don’t like it, but I know it must be this way. I see it right in front of me.

Gold glint of light on gossamer strand shows me that faith is there. That sorrows may be turned to joy. That there is substance to what I hope to believe.

I google “web.” How strong is it? “Half as strong as steel, but extensible,” I read. If steel were flexible as web, then web would be tougher. Five times tougher than steel. And web stretches thirty percent longer than its spun length. Without breaking. And more on web…it vibrates unheard frequency when insect flies into it.

Suffering struggle strums strands, strange hum in stretch.

And I feel like the father who watches his son seize, convulse and wallow on the ground and who then cries to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
(Mark 9:24).

Or like Thomas whose trust had been trampled enough in the past to weaken his faith that Christ is who He said He is, and does what He said He’ll do.

I, too, need tangible evidence to help me to believe. To trust.

Isn't this what faith means? Death and ressurrection evidence of hope for salvation, arc evidence of hope for household deliverance, tent evidence of hope for a heavenly country, sacrificial evidence to gain testimony, to endure, and for a lifetime of things hoped for. Sometimes I feel the ache acutely.

And don't trials show that faith is there just as much as God finger pointing it out in hallelujah glimmer, or in God eye glancing light upon it?

And doesn’t faith show that hope is there wrapped tight around all?

This hope, the kind wrapped tight around all trial and all glory, is the kind I must have if I am to have reason to keep trusting God.

It is what faith means! I checked the Greek. Faith really does mean in word everything that believe means and trust means and hope means.

It's all "pistis" faith and "pisteuo" believe and trust "...(and with this at the same time hope...)."
-Greek expert Kenneth Wuest-


Belief and trust and with this at the same time hope…”pisteuo.”

Hoping faith.

Hoping belief.

Hoping trust.

Pisteuo taken from pistis, as I understand. Inseparable, tougher than steel, humming odd.


It’s the glinting light running along the line that threads through my story. Hope or bust for me. Because too much trust has been too much broken. Because the strands of faith in my web have been stretched that full thirty percent with trust issues. Because it’s “rejoice in the glory of God" and because it’s not only that, but also in tribulations to the end of the line. To hope.
(see Romans 5:2-5).

And the strum vibrates web sound, strange music, when suffering pulls sticky string taught in struggle. It’s just hard to believe when my own strings have been pulled to tense lengths. I know, it’s producing endurance. But is it okay to say that sometimes I don’t want any more endurance? It’s not always enough motivation for me. But a habit of rejoicing because pistis and pisteuo are spun thread sticky and strong through and through with hope? Yes.

And whatever assaults faith is twined immediately with hope.

Suffering tangles up in faith. Faith stretch is heard in “You said” strain. “You said all things are held together in You! You said You will not give me more than I can bear! You said You will give good things to those who ask! You said. These words. I have only prayed them. Said them. Back to You.”

And faith stretches further, “What are You trying to do? Give me a nervous breakdown? Make my heart sick? Pull apart what You put together? I’m hanging by a thread here!”

And to the breaking point, “If You don’t prove yourself faithful and trustworthy, then I have little left to say to You.”

I have said this. I have wept this. Hope shot, web threatens to unravel.

But it is so strong. Faith.
And the truth is that I am captured, held still in God. I am. Even when I toss and struggle and weaken.

“Forbid my faith to break,” I ache in mid-air dangle. “Forbid it, God, no matter what flies at it.”

And faith holds grip on stalks dry and weeds wild. All tangled. All hold. All spun pattern in faith web. It is so. It is written, “Tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope”
(Romans 5:3-4).


And His finger draws line of light along a single strand, the thread holding faith suspended in thin air.

And five words are left to say, “Not my will, but Thine.”

Five pistis words. Five pisteuo breaths.

And faith strains. Vibrates hum. Thrums faith web strings. Strum skillful fingers lighting this thread here, that thread there. The tangle, the struggle  weights string with tension.

Belief, trust all hope spun…

all pisteuo

and my breath and word are interpreted according to His strange music.

I stretch to retrieve spade at my feet. I’m ready to go in now. I’ve seen glimmer of what faith looks like. Holy evidence in earthiness.

And I know now the one line that runs through my story. And it must be touched by God finger to be seen tangible. Substance for pisteuo.

All hope.  

I am alert to it.
I must be.


written by: Carolyn Roehrig



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