Searching for the sun
In the front room of our house there’s a large picture window that faces toward the street. Part of our early morning routine each day is to walk by that window and open the curtains to brighten up the room a bit.
For a good portion of the day, sunlight streams through and warms the carpet just in front of those windows. Also for a good part of each day, you can find our yellow lab, Penny, stretched out on the carpet in the exact spot where the sun is shining. She somehow manages to shift herself a few inches every quarter hour or so as she moves across the floor in sync with the sun’s path around the room.
But what I love most about our beloved dog is actually what she does on cloudy days or those stretches when the sun’s rays are no longer pouring in. If you were to walk by our house on an overcast day, you’d still find Penny faithfully laying in that same spot. No matter the weather, she remains unphased, as though she’s just waiting for the moment that sun should return to warm her up again.
It’s true — she does seem to enjoy that front window as a way to keep watch over her house (It really is her house. She just lets us live there.). She’s ready to lick to death any person who dares to approach.
But more to the point, I’m convinced Penny returns to that same place over and over again on the basis of… faith. She’s certain that even if today is cloudy, and maybe even tomorrow, too, eventually the sun will return. She just circles back to where she knows the sun will shine and is convinced that sooner or later it will show up.
When we’re at our best, isn’t that what it means to be people of faith, too? There are moments when we can feel so far from God or when faith is hard to come by. We wonder if things will ever turn around or when we might feel some sense of peace or reassurance. There are times when we might show up to church and recite prayers or words we’re not entirely sure we feel connected to in that moment.
But that’s exactly why we keep showing up—because at some point the sun will shine again. At some point, we’ll again feel a bit more confident in God’s presence. We wait out the shadows until the warmth of God’s goodness is once again more evident in our lives.
We speak the words of the Apostle’s Creed or the Lord’s Prayer not necessarily for all the times the words easily roll of our tongue. But for the times when those words seem a little empty. We keep returning to them over and over again, knowing they will carry us through all sorts of seasons in our lives.
So if you’re ever in search of what faith in action really looks like, just find yourself a loveable dog or snuggly cat. They know that so much of faith is continuing to show up. Just keep waiting for the next sunny day.