THE ROAD TO THE NARROW GATE
Now I know why ‘Keep the faith’ is such a popular expression — it needs to be said often and always. Because it’s damn hard to keep the faith.
I’m not just talking about faith in God, I’m talking about faith in your own will and determination to keep the faith — faith in hope and prayer, and, let’s face it, faith in suspension of disbelief.
If you’ve been raised Catholic, as my wife was — and I was not — you’ve already got one, more like two feet on the road to the ’Narrow Gate’ [Matthew 7:13–Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.]
The Narrow Gate to where?—Heaven, some sort of Life After Death, Something after death? The thinking varies on this and is seldom clear, certainly not clearly known, just hope and faith.
Ah-hah, back to faith we come.
Ever since the death of my wife ten months ago, I walk through the empty rooms of this house talking to her, chatting away about our life together, asking her questions about where, if anywhere, she is, and so forth.
And believe it or not, she replies, but in my voice, which surprises me. So I ask her, Why are you talking in my voice? And she says, again in my voice, Because I am in your head and your voice comes from your head, or specifically your brain, and that’s why my voice sounds like your voice.
But what are you saying? I ask. Are we, you and I, not having these conversations?
No, I’m sorry to say, she in my voice replies, because this is only in your desperate, lonely, hopeless mind.
But, I reply, not to be vanquished, I’m trying to have faith. You often told me that in your religion, if you act like you have faith, faith will be given to you.
To this she says: It’s got to be genuine, honey, from your heart and soul, not just from your mind.
Then she tells me, or my damn voice tells me, You know that movie we liked so much, ‘The Verdict’ where Paul Newman in his summation talks about faith? Well, watch it again.
Man, I thought that was a bit of a brush-off, but I watched the movie. The part that my wife referred to comes at 1:17 in the clip.
I don’t know, man, a moving speech, but I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me if I ever want to see my wife again. And you bet your life, or my life, I sure as hell do. The alternative is nothing but emptiness.