From “Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner” by Frederick Buechner
A CRAZY, HOLY GRACE I called it. Crazy because whoever could have predicted it? Who can ever foresee the crazy how and when and where of grace that wells up out of the lostness and pain of the world and of our own inner worlds? And holy because these moments of grace come ultimately from farther away than Oz and deeper down than doom, holy because they heal and hallow. “For all they blessings, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, we give thee thanks,” runs an old prayer, and it is for the all but unknown ones and the more than half-forgotten ones that we do well to look back over the journeys of our lives because it is their presence that makes the life of each of us a sacred journey. We have a hard time seeing such blessed and blessing moments as the gifts I choose to believe they are and a harder time still reaching out toward the hope of a giving hand, but part of the gift is to be able, at least from time to time, to be assured and convinced without seeing, as Hebrews says, because that is of the very style and substance of faith as well as what drives it always to seek a farther and a deeper seeing still.
There will always be some who say that such faith is only a dream, and God knows there is none who can say it more devastatingly than we sometimes say it to ourselves, but if so, I think of it as like the dream that Caliban dreamed. Faith is like the dream in which the clouds open to show such riches ready to drop upon us that when we wake into the reality of nothing more than common sense, we cry to dream again because the dreaming seems truer than the waking does to the fullness of reality not as we have seen it, to be sure, but as by faith we trust it to be without seeing. Faith is both the dreaming and the crying. Faith is the assurance that the best and holiest dream is true after all. Faith is something – if only the proposition that life is better than death – is what makes our journeys through time bearable.