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Finding faith in unexpected places

When you think of finding faith, where do you think to look? We automatically think of church – where the symbols of faith and the richness of our liturgy naturally draw the mind and heart to God. Since it is also the place we experience the reality of Christ in the Eucharist and the sacraments – we know we’ll  find faith there.

Some people also think of the glories of nature – finding faith in the vastness of the oceans, or the seemingly infinite number of stars in the night skies. In the magnificence of God’s creation, we envision faith.

In the sanctuary of our homes, we can find faith in the simple trust of a child or the gentle touch of our spouse’s hand in times of trouble. Faith is in the faces gathered around our tables at Thanksgiving, filled with gratitude for the blessings of family. There, with those closest to us, we hope to find faith.

As a priest, I often visit patients in hospitals – and their families. The hallways of a hospital are filled with prayer. Families ask God for a cure, for a cessation of pain, for a miracle, for peace. Over and over, we hear the words of desperate people praying for the gift of faith.

All of these are the places we expect to find faith – but this month’s issue of FAITH explores some unexpected places.

In our cover story, Coach John Beilein shares how he lives his faith on the basketball courts, and tries to make sure his players see and understand the importance of God in his life. That practice is a living example of how we follow St. Francis’ admonition to preach the Gospel always – using words when necessary.

And where could be a more unexpected place to find God than in a garbage dump? In this issue, you’ll meet Eric and Deanna Lindstrom – and their five children – who spent their vacation helping people who live in the garbage dump of San Pedro Sula, in the Honduras. As they worked with those who must compete with vultures and other scavengers for their daily food, the Lindstroms found deep gratitude – and faith.

Let us all look for the unexpected places God may turn up in our lives this month – and with him, our journey in FAITH continues.