by Rev. Robert H. Tucker
May 12, 1997
"Good Heavens! For more than forty years I have been
speaking prose without knowing it," says a character in a
Molière play. We smile at such nonsense.
We humans create words to talk about our experiences, not
vise versa. The bit of green hanging from the branch existed before
the word "leaf" was formed in the mind and shaped by
All words are created to talk about what we experience. That
is true for all religious words as well.
"Faith," for example, is not "believing something
that isn't true" but is the word humans invented to talk
about the way we move into our lives without everything nailed
down. We don't do a chemical analysis of each new tube of toothpaste
to see if impurities were introduced at the factory. We drive
down the road at thirty miles an hour in the faith that the person
coming toward us will not cross over the yellow line. "Good
Heavens! For more than forty years I have been living by faith
without knowing it."
We cringe at the idea that "the blood of Jesus washes away
our sins." Well, actually, it's true. Blood drenches everything
of real importance--from the real blood shed for the freedoms
we enjoy to the metaphorical bleeding of those who swallow pride
and rage to forgive another. How else can we understand the full
emotional cost of parents who forgive the person who killed their
child and plead the court to give a life, rather than a death,
sentence? And, think of what is has cost others to forgive us.
"Good heavens! For more than forty years I have been washed
in blood without knowing it."
"Religion" is not one of of Lewis Carroll's Queen's
six impossible things to believe before breakfast. It is every
human's experience of highlighting certain aspects of life and
saying, "Among all that I experience, these are what are
essential; this is what is ultimately important."
It is a true delight when eyes light up and someone says,
"Good Heavens! For more than forty years I have been religious
without knowing it."
--Robert H. Tucker
12 May 1997
- © Robert H. Tucker, 1997.
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Matters Table of Contents Page.
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and Maggi Tucker's Homepage.