Finding our way
When I was very little, my dad–then a Methodist minister– explained that one of the most difficult tasks that human beings face is sifting through the mountains of spiritual/religious truisms to determine what actually feels true for us, individually. I suppose I always assumed that he was mistaken and that finding a belief system/framework that really worked for me would be easier than he predicted, but after many years of reading and listening and praying and meditating (and even a fair amount of church-hopping), I’m still sifting– and I’m fairly certain that this particular search will go on for quite some time.
In spite of my own decades-long spiritual identity crisis, however, I have a tremendous respect for the really authentic and powerful faith-connections that help the people I love make sense of their lives. And this week, when we visited the Basilica of the Little Flower in San Antonio so that Therese (who can walk into a Catholic church anywhere in the world and feel at home) could say a prayer and light a candle, I felt that familiar longing for a peace-bringing practice and a place of my own– and a newer, even more intense hope that Lily will find the same.
So of course I panicked.
Where do we start? What can we do? How do we encourage her to seek out her own truth?
Then, printed above one of the basilica’s beautiful archways, I spotted this: My way is love and kindness.
And while I have no idea what Lily will encounter on her own journey, my greatest hope is that this simple reminder– that love and kindness, whether within or outside of any particular religious context, can guide us even when we feel lost and confused and even totally unloveable and unkind– will feel as unquestionably right to her as it does to me.