“Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” - Mary McLeod Bethune
Faith is a spiritual gift. That is, some seem to come by it more naturally, while others struggle, for each it can be cultivated. Faith is an important aspect of our relationship with God, although it is not the only place where it plays an important role. Faith is required whenever there are unknowns.
We can place our faith in one another, or in individuals. Here the cultivation or diminishment of faith may be more obvious, or at least more directly related to what has been done, or left undone. We can place our faith in a group or organization, trusting that the collective will do what is best even if we cannot examine all of the evidence ourselves. Often our relationships of caring require us to place faith in those for whom we care. Even as doubt creeps in, we trust that we are helping more than enabling as we offer our collective help in ministry at Ascension.
Faith is essential in parenting as well. Here, we generally experience a long view, both in what is offered by the parent and in the hopes and expectations for what impacts it will make on our children and on the world. I am grateful to both of my parents for the faith they have placed in me. As Mother's Day approaches I am particularly cognizant of my mother's role in cultivating my faith in God. She did so deliberately, but also inadvertently as her own faithfulness in action was observed. She also demonstrated firsthand placing her faith in others, letting each of us make our own mistakes along the way.