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Where matters of faith are concerned everything is remedial.

I have become a pilgrim of sorts in the last six months on a road I never imagined myself taking. The destination is not new. I can easily say that meeting God on a regular basis has been the destination that I look toward. I’m all about it. In my best moments I suppose I thought I was already there, sipping Mai Tai’s with God on a beach somewhere. In my worst moments I thought I’d at least be taking a plane to get there.

This ancient road is a surprise. It’s dusty and wide, this road. It can be lonely. Sometimes I don’t see another soul for miles. In the heat of the day the road of Orthodoxy is arduous and beautiful. In the calm of the night it is expansive, the moon and the stars provide company, promise, revelation.

But where matters of faith are concerned everything is remedial.

The word comes from the latin, remedialis, meaning “healing, curing.” Everything about faith is this. Everything.

When I began the Orthodoxy 101 classes in October I joked to my priest that I ought to be able to test out of the 101 and go right to the 200 level courses. Being raised Catholic and then continuing to follow Christ through adulthood, albeit non-denominationally, I thought I already “knew” what I needed to know about God. I got the Creed, I got the catechism, I got the history, I got it.

I would sit in the class and nod my head. I got this. I would answer the questions. I would engage the discussion. I got this. I ought to be at the next level, thought I.

And then I began a life of prayer and it all changed. I had a moment, finally, when I looked down at my feet and saw the mud and sand caked there. My bare feet alongside those of the other pilgrims. All feet bare, all feet caked in mud and sand. We are all on this ancient road, this unpaved and dirty road. We are all at level one, we are all trying to avoid the rocks, the injury, the oppressive heat of the day, the cool loneliness of the night. We are all seeking the steady beauty of the One who made us, we are all desperate for His breath on our skin, His lips on ours to ease the crushing weight of the world we feel pressing in on that deep, empty place in our hearts.

Where matters of faith are concerned, everything is remedial. Everything