I am a collector of words. I like turns of phrase and word play and little snippets of language that encapsulate an idea or a feeling.
I collect from everywhere, quotes, letters, conversations, and what I read.
So of course some of my word collection includes biblical phrases. These phrases speak to me of encounter, a face-to-face meeting with the one who knows me and who knows just what I need.
So I thought I might start another series like “word play” and “just a little list” examining some of my favourite phrases, and the encounters surrounding them. (And because this is my blog that is exactly what I’m going to do, you all ok with that?!)
There is a passage in Mark’s gospel where Jesus is asked by a father for healing for his son. When questioned by Jesus he says “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief”.
I love this phrase. I love this for its pure honesty. I love it for its unequivocal ambiguity. This phrase says I believe and yet I doubt at the same time. This phrase acknowledges that there are times where I know he is Lord, and yet I struggle to see it.
It is a phrase that acknowledges the dearth of our understanding and the depth of his. It is a phrase that acknowledges that even in times of great questioning there can still be faith.
And Jesus’ response to this father, pleading in the face of his doubt, was not to belittle for lack of faith, but to heal.
It is an encounter that speaks of freedom, that I don’t have to pretend, that there may be times in life when it is hard to say “I believe”. But even in those times, there is grace and there is healing.
PS: Here is Audrey Assad’s take on this verse, just beautiful.