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What’s saving your faith right now? 

If you read Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor, you might recognize a version of the question. “What’s saving your life right now?” is what she asks, explaining “Salvation is so much more than many of its proponents would have us believe… Although we might use different words to describe it, most of us know what is killing us… to be saved is not only to recognize an alternative to the deadliness pressing down upon us but also to be able to act upon it.” So asking this question helps her – helps us – to clarify what it is that is the doing the opposite of killing us. To name what’s holding us up. What’s giving us delight. What’s sparking our hope.

A bunch of bloggers and podcasters have taken a shine to the question, and now use it to build content on their platforms. While listening to onesuch podcast lately, about nail polish and jeans that were saving the life of this particular influencer, I found myself thinking about faith instead. I mean, I’m not above making a list of the things that are sparking much-needed joy in my life lately (i.e. The Firekeeper’s Daughter, West Michigan’s recent 60-degree Saturday, the fake Girl Scout cookies that are sold at Aldi). But what I really need to name, I think, is what is saving my faith right now. In a world where bombs are getting dropped on nuclear power plants, where the climate catastrophe is advancing faster than we can adapt, where transgender kids’ lives are being threatened in Texas and a Christian man running for public office in my county made national news with the quote “Having three daughters, I tell my daughters, ‘Well, if rape is inevitable, you should just lie back and enjoy it,” it really feels like the time to ask… what’s the alternative to deadliness pressing down upon faith right now? 

What’s saving my faith right now is this photo of strollers (captured by photojournalist Franceso Malavotla and shared on his Twitter) gathered by moms in Poland and and offered to moms fleeing Ukraine to use when they got off the train. 

What’s saving my faith is the Instagram feed of a minister named Meredith Anne Miller who offers simple, actionable ways to talk about God with our kids. One post last week stopped me in my tracks.

What’s saving my faith is a small backyard gathering where I listen to God’s voice through silence and Scripture with a few friends.

A candle that my kids fight over lighting while we read the day’s meditation from my friend Elizabeth’s beautiful book Teach Us to Pray.

The kindness of the no-pressure, checking-in text from a member of my church who hasn’t seen me in quite a while.

The relief of repeating the Benedictine truth, “Always, we begin again.”

Those things are saving my faith.

What’s saving yours?

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Kate Kooyman

Rev. Kate Kooyman is a minister of the Reformed Church in America who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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