“Have a little faith, Miss,” the postal worker suggested to me when I was having trouble with my forwarded mail after I moved to Eddystone, PA.
His words have come back to me many times over the years.
Have a little faith.
Sometimes a little faith is all I need. Other times, I need a whole lot more.
I just finished writing a book about the nine months Jim was sick. As I was pulling together my journal entries and emails, writing and editing, I was amazed at how much faith Jim and I had. It was as if our faith grew alongside his cancer. Maybe that is a common occurrence—faith fills in when everything else falls away.
Just a few weeks after Jim was diagnosed, I wrote in my journal, “I pray he will have the strength and faith to hold onto God through this ordeal.”
A few months later, when Jim developed a blood clot, I wrote, “I feel like I am living the passion and death of Jesus every day—grateful each morning when Jim wakes up.…I bring communion home every day and share in that holy communion with him. I get the symbolism of it—our lives wrapped up in the mystery of faith, the mystery of suffering, death and resurrection.”
And on April 9, 2012, a week after he died, I sent this email to family and friends:
“Jim celebrated his 58th birthday on March 21, a birthday he was not sure he would live to see. He was so happy to make it to that day. He would have been happy to die on that day, but God had other plans….
“From his birthday on, though, Jim was getting ready…he wanted no more visitors…he wanted to focus on his journey to God, and he did not want distractions which visitors might bring….
“Jim would often talk about the ripple effects of his journey–how many people were touched in different ways.
“Soon after Jim went into the hospital last July, God asked me to do three things: to love unconditionally, to forgive without limit, and to let go. Jim and I often talked about those three things, and if he were preaching his funeral sermon, he would include them. We often talked about letting go–of hurts (new and old), of expectations, of all the things that keep us from being totally free and completely open to God.
“In the end, Jim let go so well–he went to God, fully conscious and awake. His passing was so incredibly peaceful. His last words to me were ‘It’s ok. Really, it’s ok.’”
While I may have started on that journey with Jim unsure of the depth of my faith, by the end, I was resonating with the story of the mustard seed; I had been given the gift of deep faith. (Matthew 17:20)