When our children were young they inundated us with questions—why is the sky blue? Where does the rain come from? Why did the bird have to die? Why can’t I have candy before dinner? Questions…questions that did not always have a concrete answer, but were vitally necessary for the children’s growth—to learn about the world and about themselves; to help them to “work out” what was stirring within.
The disciples in today’s gospel* are no exception. Thomas had just confronted Jesus with the question of “…how can we know the way…” if we don’t even know where you are going, and Phillip is still trying to understand how he can see the Father. It still hasn’t “clicked” for him that knowing Jesus is knowing the Father. The fellas are still trying to “work out “ what they do and do not understand about Jesus and his teachings. They were growing in their faith and the questions were vital to their growth.
Elisabeth Elliot, author of A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, reminds us that “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.” To grow in one’s faith is to acknowledge and explore the questions that grow alongside, and then to be still and listen to the fruit of the question.
I find it very reassuring that those who walked and lived among Jesus had the courage to question, that they responded to their desire to know Jesus in a deeper and more intimate way, which meant daring to confront, wrestle with and plunge deeper into the questions that gave birth to their deeply rooted faith.
Is there a question stirring within? Ask it, then listen.