“How Do I Know?”
“It’s hard to love someone you’ve never met.”
In the movie ‘Bird Box’ there is a scene where Malorie went to her doctor appointment to get her routine check-up on the progress of her pregnancy. Malorie and her sister were having a conversation concerning how she was feeling about giving birth to a child that she wasn’t having any of the maternal emotions connected to pregnancy. So her doctor was present, and she was somewhat concerned about how she was feeling emotionally. As a good doctor should, Dr. Lapham presented Malorie with several options to consider after the birth of her child. But the doctor made a profound, yet understanding statement during her conversation with Malorie.
Dr. Lapham said, “It’s hard to love someone you’ve never met.” This statement resonated with me so in such a way, I literally pondered that thought. I don’t think that she couldn’t love the child, I believe she just couldn’t see how she could love the child. It’s almost as if she had some regret in her conversation wishing she wasn’t pregnant. Not knowing in the next few moments that her pregnancy will give her meaning to fight and to survive in a world that is about to change literally right before her eyes.
Let’s examine what she did so that we can see where the spiritual significance resides in this statement. The statement was made simply out of frustration, Malorie was being honest with how she was feeling. The doctor seemed a bit shocked that she would express herself in front of her like that without giving any regard to how what she said may affect those around her. Her transparency revealed her detachment from the pregnancy. Her transparency exposed her emotional disconnect from the life within her. Her transparency painted a picture of her discouragement. This shows us that sometimes in order to get what we need, we have to speak our truth in that moment, even in the midst of our frustration.
After Malorie shared her truth, the doctor then did two things. Dr. Lapham verbalized her (Malorie) vexation, then she offered optimistic options. When the doctor verbalized the vexation, it put on display what it was that Malorie wasn’t able to accurately express. Although Dr. Lapham spoke truth, she also suggested opportunities of adoption to Malorie.
Love has many meanings for many people, but love is not to be taken for granted by the lover or the loved. It is everyone’s hope to be loved by someone and even a greater deal to be able to love on someone other than yourself. Love is a gift to be shared and experienced with others. Love isn’t a gift that can be packaged and returned to sender once it gets delivered to the wrong address. But there is something that lurks in the shadows of love and that thing is called “FEAR.”
Fear has a way of peeking into many situations and circumstances that we may encounter. A lot of people will say that there is no love like a mother’s love, but in this case, this mother couldn’t express love towards her unborn child although she’s been carrying him for over 36 weeks.
Something I notice about a lot of people, even those that associate themselves with a church, share somewhat the same issue as this mother in this scenario. There are those who are experiencing a detachment from God because they feel spiritually dried up. There are those who are experiencing an emotional disconnect because they have turned off their hearing aids from God. Then there are those who are experiencing discouragement because they simply can’t see God therefore causing them not to have a love or a desire to know God.
We live in a time where people believe only what they can see or only what they can explain. You mention the word faith and they ask what is faith? Faith to some is some mystical form of luck. You mention the word love and they immediately challenge how love is displayed carnally versus spiritually. What’s strange in this scenario is that this statement paints a perfect picture of how the world views their belief in God.
So the real statement now becomes how can you believe in a God that you can’t see? God is a spirit and He has made us in His image and in His likeness. He has also put His DNA within us when He breathed the breath of life into us. When He created us, He made us so unique that even we can’t fathom the awesomeness of our design. But the thing that’s so amazing is that, we can believe in ghost, but we can’t believe in the Holy Ghost. We can believe in magicians, but we can’t believe in the Great Physician. We can believe in the big bang theory and evolution, but we can’t believe in the Creator who formed creation, yet He provides a way unto salvation.
Just like Malorie, we are a lot alike. She was pregnant with a life growing within her, we are pregnant with possibilities of life growing within us. Malorie couldn’t see the child within her but she knew he was there because she could feel him moving on the inside. We on the other hand can’t see the Holy Spirit but we know he’s there because we can feel Him moving on the inside. It’s a lot like the wind, you can’t see it but when it moves you can feel it.
My point is this, just because you can’t see God doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate Him or come into relationship with Him. The truth of the matter is that God is visible in everything around us. The problem is that if you aren’t actively looking for Him, you will overlook the greatest thing He puts before you every day, yourself.
So the operative question becomes, “How can I believe in a God that I’ve never seen in person?” Today I will do my best to explain to you based on my own personal experience. To many, it may seem as though those of us who are believers in God are a bit dillusional. Those of us who are honest about our faith experience, we’ve all wrestled with the thought and wondered what if God is not real? To be honest it’s hard to believe in someone or anything if you yourself haven’t had an experience with them. I believe that’s the reason so many wrestle with the idea of God being God.
Logic will arrest your thoughts and keep you imprisoned in your mind when you look for logical reasoning for something that is completely spiritual. Logic is the science of reasoning based on the facts or events of something that is happening or has occured. So if someone walks in the door from outside and they have wet hair, it’s safe to assume that it is raining outdoors? (That’s logic right?)
Belief avails us the opportunity to express our hopes in countless possibilties. Belief is simply the confidence we have in someone or something. It’s a lot like love, love has so many definitions and so many looks even beyond those things we can see. But real love has no face, real love is an experience that has a lasting effect on your life.
I know to others, believeing in someone who is “In-Visible” can seem a bit crazy and irrational. But I’m reminded of a lesson I was taught as a youngster, “We don’t believe in the wind because we see it, we believe in the wind because we can see the effects of the wind.” In my life, experience has taught me how to appreciate the unseen things of life. When the wind blows it kisses my face. When the wind blows it chills my body. When the wind blows it gives me a full embrace. When the wind blows it causes me to get secure footing so I won’t fall from being unstable.
A lot like the winds encounters, are the same encounters I have in God. My experiences with God happen when He kisses my heart with His undying love towards. My experiences with God chills my angers and frustrations when I find myself getting heated and wanting to rearrange the furniture in my life. My experiences with God embraces me when I need reassurance that He cares. My experiences with God strengthens me to handle any opposition that comes against me. There are times I may bend, but one thing for sure is that I wont break because He is my strength in my times of weakness.
So for me, believing isn’t hard because of my experiences I’ve had in Him. I can tell you so many ways to get to know Him, but the only way to know Him is to go back to the place where you left Him. Go back to the place of doubt and seek Him out. He’s waiting to meet you there.
J. Leon Gant Jr.