The Gift of Faith

By Nesha Logan

My mother's long, dainty fingers traversed the Bible like it was her old familiar neighborhood. She would point out scriptures as if she was remembering the “good ol' days.” Every recited verse took her back to a time when she called upon the power of the Word for protection from evils. I never understood how she knew all those words and believed in them so strongly. After all, I had never seen her step foot into a church.  What I learned later was that she hadn't found a church home that fed her spirit, so she cultivated a sanctuary of her own. On Saturday afternoons sage and candles burned while Earth, Wind and Fire belted out through the speakers. Sunday morning praise and worship was held in our living room, before the birds chirped and the sun rose. It was her prayer and meditation. It was her “bow your heads and lift your hands,” giving praise. Our home, on any given day, was God-filled with an abundance of soulful vibes

Faith, in its most basic form, is the belief in something greater and more powerful than ourselves. Whether God, the universe or a different higher power altogether, we are taught to believe in these entities and call upon them in times of want and need. /My mother is the most faithful woman I know. In questioning her strength, she once told me, "don't mistake my calmness for carelessness. I am connected to the spirit and I know everything will be alright."

The saying goes, "there’s nothing like a praying mother," and it's true. However, I would like to add, "there's nothing like a faithful mother." While the two should be mutually exclusive they aren't. You can't pray and worry. To say that her faithfulness has not molded my spirituality would be a disservice to her as a mother and as a woman of God.

In my teenage years I yearned to know the God my mother knew. The one she went to on bended knee, the one that wouldn't let her complain because some how all of our needs were met, the one from which our blessings came. Sometimes I opted to spend my Sundays in church with my grandmother in hopes of finding God there. What I left with was a glossed over look and burning questions about why I couldn't "catch the Holy Ghost." Did God not want to have a relationship with me?

I took my concerns to my mother, "I don't feel close to God. How can I have have a relationship like the one you have?" She looked at me perplexedly then told me to have a seat. She began by saying that everyone's relationship with God is different; that the places that she finds God and the things she believes in Him for may not be the same as the next person. She told me it was up to me to decide how I wanted things to be.

So I did. I began to see him in the stars in the sky, the fog right before the rain, the gentle smile on the bank tellers face, and in a child's laughter. The details became so important that I always found myself in awe of His presence everywhere. I began to believe that only God could orchestrate such beauty. My amazement turned into praise and somewhere down the line it helped to shape and mold my faithfulness. So while my relationship with my God is different from my mother’s, I find myself spending my weekends how we use to when I was a child: incense and Earth, Wind and Fire. Praise and worship. Only God can bring things around full-circle like that. 

Chicago-based writer Nesha Logan is a self-proclaimed lover of experiences with an over-the-moon passion for storytelling and an imagination she hopes never quits. Living the mantra “it’s all about the story,” you’re bound to catch her with her face in a book, her pen on paper or her mind in the clouds. For so long black men and women were enslaved mentally, physically, and emotionally; and though the scene and circumstances have changed, many still are. Her choice to lead a life of holistic wellness is a revolutionary act; an ever-evolving journey to be everything that society has never wanted us to be - happy, healthy and whole.