Falling Into Love
The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith'. The Lord replied, 'Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea", and it would obey you. (Luke 17:5-6)
A baby begins moving out into the world, first, by learning to reach out with its hands. It extends this limited reach when it discovers how to roll over toward what it wants. Then it learns to wiggle about, like a worm, inching its way forward. Its ‘invade-able world’ greatly expands when it masters crawling on all fours. Upon learning to stand on its two legs, it soon masters the side step –sliding one foot, then the other, all while holding on to available furniture and walls.
Up to this point, the baby is always stable, able to freeze its motion at any instant, and not fall. But then something transformative happens, it takes its first step -it learns how to fall forward and catch itself with one foot. This of course is the preamble to the great amble –walking, whereupon taking a step forward, the baby uses its momentum to fall forward again, then catch itself again, and then again, and again –now loosed from the bonds of furniture and walls, from the tedious pace of crawling, it can explore and conquer vast reaches of space in a short amount of time.
What is fascinating about the act of walking is that we use the ever present force of gravity to propel ourselves forward. With each step, we willfully allow ourselves to fall into gravity’s grip –as we allow our body to fall, we catch ourselves with our foot, and gravity’s downward pull is transferred into forward momentum, where we fall again and catch ourselves with the other foot. The complexity of the physics involved makes learning to walk difficult and replete with accidents.
So what does all this have to do with the Apostles asking Jesus to increase their faith? They must have been befuddled by his response. They were wanting to be like him –to do the things he did. They witnessed his miracles. They observed how he connected this power with faith. They knew that faith had something to do with believing. They believed in him yet they could not do the things he did. Jesus said if the size of their faith were minuscule, a tree would obey their command and cast itself into the sea.
Surely, they must have been disheartened. After hearing this, they must have thought they had no faith at all. Maybe, if instead of asking for their faith to be increased, they had asked Jesus, ‘Do we possess the power of faith, even a little?’ he may have said, ‘No, not at all.’ For maybe, learning to walk in faith is like learning to walk in gravity. Maybe, we do not possess faith but rather faith possesses us. Maybe, when walking in faith, we fall into its power and are propelled forward toward great acts of love.
If this is the Kingdom’s framework for faith, then indeed, the size of our faith is not the issue, because it is not our mortal power, but God’s Almighty Power that propels us to unthinkable acts of Love. Maybe in surrendering into Faith we are falling into the Power of Love. This is a difficult thing for a soul to learn, and it is fraught with mistakes and disappointments, but the Kingdom of God is waiting to be conquered.
Lord, grant me the courage, the Faith, to fall into your Love, to abandon myself into a Love I am incapable of giving -knowing that the Power of your Holy Spirit is waiting to catch me, to propel my feeble acts of faith into a life befitting my God. Jesus, I am weak but you are strong. I Believe in your Promise to empower me: to equip me; to walk in Faith; to be your Ambassador of Love.Jesus, you commissioned me (John 15:16) to bear the fruit of your Love. I did not choose you, you first chose me. This is your plan Lord, not of my making. I cannot imagine the Good that you Will to accomplish, but I can be obedient to your Word. So here I am Lord, just like your Apostles, asking you for something beyond my understanding. In the words of our Mother, whom you have shared with me, ‘…may it be done unto me according to your Will.’ Again, and again, and again may I fall into your Love –until you find me home.