Turn Aside and Look: Leave the Rest to God


I think there is no suffering greater than
what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. 

I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, 
in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. 
What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. 
They think faith is a big electric blanket, 
when of course it is the cross. 
It is much harder to believe than not to believe. 
If you feel you can’t believe, you must at least do this: 
keep an open mind. 
Keep it open toward faith, 
keep wanting it, 
keep asking for it, 
and leave the rest to God.
~Flannery O’Connor from The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor


And those are called blessed who make the effort to remain open-hearted.  Nothing that comes from God, even the greatest miracle, can be proven like 2 x 2 = 4. It touches one; it is only seen and grasped when the heart is open and the spirit purged of self. Then it awakens faith.  … the heart is not overcome by faith, there is no force or violence there, compelling belief by rigid certitudes.  What comes from God touches gently, comes quietly; does not disturb freedom; leads to quiet, profound, peaceful resolve within the heart.
~Romano Guardini from The Living God


On my doubting days, days too frequent and tormenting,
I remember the risen Christ
reaching out to place Thomas’s hand in His wounds,
gently guiding Thomas to His reality,
so it becomes Thomas’s reality.
His open wounds called
to Thomas’s mind and heart,
His flesh and blood
awakening a hidden faith
by a simple touch

5 thoughts on “Turn Aside and Look: Leave the Rest to God

  1. A stunning post, Emily. So apt for the confusing times in which we live….when so many voices claim to be telling us the truth, the reality (and not ‘alternate facts’).

    O’Connor’s writing is always succinct, honest, practical, as is the quoted excerpt here.

    Guardini’s comforting statement that ‘What comes from God touches gently, comes quietly; does not disturb freedom’ [our gift of free will]…is but another grand manifestation of God’s love for us. He does not say, ‘take it or leave it,’ He leaves the door ajar, our options open, saying instead: ‘Come and See.’ And believe….And we are never the same!

    And yet, how often we become like Thomas when faced with his great test of faith in the unknown, unproven, without a shadow of doubt wanting assurance that we are not ‘being taken,’ misled from the real truth….


  2. I am new to your site and just love your photos. Do you take all these that you post on your blog? What camera do you use? They are amazing shots, capturing the essence and detail of beauty.


  3. Hi Harriet, welcome to Barnstorming! Yes, unless I give another photographer credit, these are my photos, most taken with my Canon ES Rebel, some with my pocket point and shoot Canon I carry with me everywhere, and occasionally my iPhone. No manual settings, all automatic as I have no idea what I’m doing! Blessings, Emily

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, Alice, such confusing times. The truth is so shaded in our culture and we strive to bring it back out into the light. Blessings on the Sabbath to you, Emily


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