Beyond my office window, the hands of a church steeple folded in prayer seem to hold an intricately scrolled metal cross forever lifted in faith and love. On the days when the bitter, animal voice of ego fills my head with self-doubt and uncertainty, the sight of that cross, suspended between heaven and earth, is a gentle reminder that I am more than flesh, blood, and imperfections. I am a spiritual creature, born of a divine love and faith that are the life force of my being. In the moments when the sunlight glints across the steeple and outlines each perfect line of detail, my soul seems to shimmer with a resounding “YES,” and I begin to understand that faith is the source of all healing, all love, and all that is good and right in the world. The vast web of positive energy that connects all living things is not owned by one branch of religious faith; nor is it deaf to any voice lifted in prayer. Faith is not about the specific doctrines of individual religions; it is a celebration of love, and an acceptance of the divine light that is the birthright of all human beings.
Lately, though, it seems as though the spiritual journey is too often lost in the mechanics of individual religions; forgotten amidst the competitive scramble to be “the one true path.” Rather than promoting faith and tolerance, which lead to love and understanding, human beings focus on the differences that separate religious doctrines; allowing these differences to sow fear and distrust where there should be faith and love. Terry Jones’ planned Quran burning is a sad example of the evil that blooms when fear is allowed to dictate our reactions. Evil is not a demon with forked tongue surrounded by flames; it is the proliferation of fear and hate in the human heart.
Love is not a limited commodity, nor is divine understanding a natural resource accessible to only a chosen few. As I look out my window at the folded hands of the church steeple reaching toward the light, I am reminded that the only war we need fight is against our own ignorance and fear. In faith there is love and understanding. In love there is acceptance and peace.