That first autumn after Little Person was born, we bought me a nice adventurer’s coat. Knee-length, lightweight, lightly padded, perfect for trekking to and from uni. And for going to the park, and a thousand other adventurers. Adjustable in a million different ways, so you could let the air in, or keep the snow and wind and ice out. I dented one of the little fasteners at the wrist, so the little flap would flop around and nearly land up in my food anytime I ate with my coat on (which has been more frequent an occurrence than you would think).
The only trouble was the fancy zip. It was one of those long tow-numbers, which was handy when you were walking along and suddenly needed more freedom to access your legs, but not so handy if you have trouble lining up the zippy bits. And on Monday afternoon, the zippy bits seemed to be lined up fine when I put the coat on to fetch Little Person from school. And then when it was time to take the coat off – well, turns out the zippy bits were not as aligned as I thought they were. I extricated myself, and inspected it. But Little Person was waiting and so I never got around to it.
Tuesday morning, I wanted to wear my coat. Only, I was in a bit of a rush, and I thought I could just wriggle it around and if I pulled the right bit with the tension just so, it would be okay. Except I pushed when I should have pulled. And now my coat is useless, because the zippy bit is jammed together at the bottom, and I would have to wriggle and jiggle myself to get into it, and then it still wouldn’t protect me from all the rain and cold.
So no. We don’t need faith like a zip. We don’t need a faith that only works when all the little bits are lined up just so, and everything clicks together nicely. We need a faith that doesn’t get in the way when it is dented. A faith that is real, and robust and ready to face up to the trials and troubles of life. I don’t want a faith that looks good and feels nice. I want a faith that will keep me warm when it is cold, will protect me in the storm, will shelter my loved ones in times of trouble. I want a faith I can eat and sleep and run and jump and explore in.
Faith like a zip? I think I’ll pass.