Faith unveiled in many ways

Faith is a timely topic this week.

According to Google, faith is the trust or confidence in someone or something. It's also described as a strong belief in God or the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

My own interpretation is that faith is opening yourself up, allowing something into your heart that can't be seen or proven, yet felt very deeply. It's an acceptance that we won't always have the answers and a vulnerability to trust the process.

While my religion is Christianity, and I take comfort in those practices, I believe that faith transcends organized theology. I'm not promoting one way of doing it over another, rather to celebrate the ways in which we can all lean on faithful moments in the everyday.

For sure, holiness presents itself to me on a hike or watching a stunning sunset or sunrise. At those times I feel certain that there is something greater than all of this hard at work. However, an even more powerful force to me is witnessing the interconnectedness of humankind. Every day we can point to the ways people support one another in both our personal experiences and more generally by observing life unfold around us.

It's the way a grocery clerk tells a mother trying to manage an errand with young children that she's doing a great job. It's when coworkers decide to wear pink on the day their teammate is having cancer surgery. It's the concerned sleeplessness we've all had for people we know only from afar or on the news.

These sacred moments can't be quantified and sometimes not even described. While subtle, they make a significant impact. You can sort of sense something special is underway.

In my personal life, it's the gentleness in which a friend suggests a doctor, treatment or therapy right when someone in my family most needs it. It's beloved neighbors presenting our kids with keepsake gifts on their milestones, thoughtfully selected books or jewelry that capture their personalities. Most recently, it was during a dinner with an impressive young college student who shared how she knows when a boyfriend is good enough for her.

Seeing the interest in the eyes of my daughters, I knew this valuable lesson meant more coming from her, an older peer, than it ever could from me. I silently acknowledged that we were in a moment, and let myself be there, basking in faith.

Friendship, kindness and love at play, the intersection between prayer and miracles, science and evidence isn't always easy to square away. For me, that space is where faith resides. Faith is insistent and beautiful. And faith is how I know that everything will be OK.

- Carissa Kapcar of Hinsdale is a contributing columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected].