01 June 2010

The Faith of Starfish

As far as I can tell, starfish don't have faith. If we were to get technical and philosophical about it, I'd point out that they have neither a heart (if you still believe that's where feelings come from) nor a centralized brain with which to consider anything.

But somehow, starfish get around. When they lose an arm, they just keep going on their little tube feet, looking for mollusks or coral or whatever's slower than they are, to eat it, and the arm just grows back eventually. So if starfish were capable of emotion, I'd guess that they feel secure. If starfish had any faith, they'd trust in their God-given (Oh, Great Echinoderm of the Deep!) ability to just regrow themselves after trauma and be content. If Jesus had been more of a seafaring type, maybe he would've had one more analogy for old Matthew to record in Chapter 6.

Unfortunately for me, I am not a starfish. I've lost parts of myself in the past couple of years, and the regeneration process has been painful. (Due to their lack of brains, starfish don't feel pain, either. And you could cut one in half and, after enough time, have two starfish on your hands. Some creatures really have all the luck.) It's mostly because I don't even know if those things--home, church, dreams deferred, etc.--can grow back, or if I'd recognize them if they did. New starfish arms are exact replicas of the old ones. I feel kind of like a misshapen mutant in comparison.

I think my life would be better--trouble easier to endure, frustration and impatience dropped from my emotional vocabulary--if I had a more brainless brand of faith, with "It'lll grow back" a soothing mantra repeating in the back of my mind (or in whatever nervous system is left): "It'll grow back. It'll all grow back. I don't know how, how long it will take, or what it will look like, but that won't bother me, as long as it grows back. And it will. It just will."

*long sigh of true peace and contentment; hum and wiggle of tube feet*

"Oh, look, a mussel!"

Thanks for coming over to my new blog, where I will more or less do the same things I did on the old ones. There are several reasons I decided to change blog hosts, and most of them are technical. I'll spare you and provide just the personal one.

It felt like a good time to start again.

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