Faith: Baby Steps and Leaps
edited: Thursday, January 26, 2006
By Leslie P Garcia
Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2003
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Faith...true faith...gives birth to miracles, large and small. We can't all believe...but we can all approach belief, whether with leaps or in small, unsure steps
Faith. The willingness to believe, absolutely, in a superior power—whether Christian or of another religious denomination, faith is uniquely human, and like all things human, both godly and base.
Faith—when claimed in the slaughter of innocents—is the basest manipulation of human ego. Blame a superior power for actions not even animals would commit.
But faith also is as pure as a child’s hand reaching out in trust to its mother, as passionate as prayer when an airplane plummets from the sky…as absolute as a deathbed smile of acceptance. And knowledge.
At least, I think those things are faith. Faith and I have a troubled history. I believe—believed for many years, even after a despotic father told me I was an atheist, after years of welcome church Sundays and quiet evenings of prayer.
But my father’s edict, the poor choices one often makes in life—and, truth be told, a relentless stream of doubt, both self-doubt and cynicism—make my hold on faith tenuous and faltering at best.
Thus, the creation of a place called Bibleland near, but not in, little-known Uvalde, Texas looms in my consciousness almost like an omen. The person building this homage to her faith, and to her God, is my sister.
This is the sister who once embraced atheism with a passion I never did. The sister who has panned for gold, then for men’s souls, who writes intriguing tales of Christian suspense—adventure, romance—and always, of faith.
Building a bible-based theme park, telling the story of the Christian experience, may not seem particularly daunting—unless one’s husband is terminally ill, and one is scraping by on limited income.
I, ever practical, explained over and over to my sister the impossibility of her mission. Maybe, I told her, in twenty years. When there was time, and money—maybe, if one of us won a lottery, or if our books sold well…
And yet, rising unexpectedly from the flat land outside of Uvalde, much of Bibleland is complete. The representation of the Garden of Eden, where lions and rabbits walked together, the deadly beauty of Sin, the foundation of Noah’s Ark—little by little, this testament to faith is taking shape.
Don’t ask me how it happened—I don’t know.
What I do know is that its existence proves to me that leaps, not baby steps, towards faith get one further along much faster. That belief, in many cases, can become physical reality. And regardless of one’s Deity, true faith manifests itself not as death and ugliness, but as conviction, peace and a definitive beauty of being.